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Lee Morgan

 

 

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        Lee Morgan was born in Philadelphia in 1938.   He started playing professionally at the age of 15 and was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie and played in his big band at the age of 18.. He played (amazingly) on John Coltrane's legendary Blue Train album at the age of 19.   He joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1958 to 1961, and played in the frontline with Hank Mobley and later Wayne Shorter.   His drug problem forced to him to leave the band and after laying low for 2 years, he returned In 1963 and made a huge hit with the song The Sidewinder.   After that he started turning out his best work, and he would go on and rejoin the Jazz Messengers from 1964-66.  Toward the end of the decade, he started exploring modal music, as well as some of the free jazz sound and funk.  His life was cut short at the age of 34 when he was shot by his girlfriend.

        I fell in love with his music when I heard him on Blue Train.  I also have his greatest hits on Blue Note records, and was very impressed.  It's really sad that he never got to meet his full potential.

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