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I Called Him Morgan

M/A/D | Jazz on Film

At the heart of Kasper Collin’s poignant and evocative documentary is the only interview with Helen More, widow of the jazz trumpet legend Lee Morgan (The Sidewinder), recorded many years after his shocking, premature death.

Helen had been Lee’s savior and redeemer when his heroin addiction put him on the street in the 1960s. To that point he’d been riding high, a teenage protégé of Dizzy Gillespie, who played with Miles Davis, Art Blakey and Herbie Hancock. More has her own story too, and they converged in a beautiful love affair-at least for a while.

You don’t have to be a jazz fan to appreciate the multiple, tragic ironies that makes this film such a sucker punch of a crime story, but by the end you will probably find yourself seeking out some more Lee Morgan sounds. Interviews with Wayne Shorter, Paul West and Jymie Merritt complete the picture.

"Musicians sometimes paraphrase Debussy, or one another, in saying that music is the silence between the notes. I Called Him Morgan has it all — the notes and the silence, plus the music of spoken language, pitched in rueful tones of recollection." Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"A more comprehensive biography of Lee Morgan’s life and career would make a great documentary, but that is not this documentary. I Called Him Morgan is smaller than that and much bigger at the same time. It is about Lee and Helen and a love gone wrong; it is about how men use women; it is about genius and those who want a piece of it; and it is about what can and cannot be forgiven. Shot simply, delivered clearly, and accompanied by one hell of a soundtrack." Ahamefule J. Oluo, The Stranger

"Using a dazzling blend of cinematic tools, aural as well as visual, Collin recreates both individual lives and an entire world." Kenneth Turan, LA Times

Guest: Rev Gary Paterson from St Andrew's Wesley will introduce the final screening, June 8th.

Want to hear the lower mainland’s best jazz musicians in a unique venue? Drop by Jazz Vespers every Sunday afternoon 4-5pm, at St. Andrew’s, Burrard/Nelson.

Director Kasper Collin
Country of Origin: Sweden/US
Year: 2016
Running Time: 91 mins
Format: DCP
Classification: 19+
Related Links: Website & Trailer
Featuring: Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter

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