WUSF Focus Artist of the Week: Lee Morgan

Lee Morgan (1959). Photo: Herbert Behrens

This week on All Night Jazz, we’ll focus on trumpet legend, Lee Morgan.

Born on July 10, 1938 , in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Morgan was initially interested in the vibraphone before being bitten by the trumpet bug. He later went on to become one of the most influential trumpet stars in jazz.

Morgan joined the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band at 18, where he recorded the now classic “I Remember Clifford,” and later that year launched a 25 album career at Blue Note Records where he worked with over 250 separate musicians and created several hit recordings such as “The Sidewinder ”and “Speedball.”  He was also a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers during a prolifically creative period for the band in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. He also appeared on John Coltrane’s historic “Blue Train” release and worked extensively with other jazz greats such as Wayne Shorter, Stanley Turrentine and Freddie Hubbard. He died tragically at the age of 33 when his common law wife gunned him down in a jazz saloon in 1972.

We’ll hear the hard bop sounds of Lee Morgan all week long, on All Night Jazz.