Lee Morgan

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  • The Sidewinder (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition Remastered)

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About Lee Morgan

Trumpet hero Lee Morgan was one of the key figures of the hard-grooving, R&B-informed jazz subgenre known as hard bop. Born in Philadelphia in 1938, the precocious Morgan was only 18 when he started playing with Dizzy Gillespie, and he recorded his first album under his own name at the same age. The following year, he played on John Coltrane’s classic Blue Train, and at age 20 he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, contributing to some of the band’s most beloved recordings. The butt-shaking groove and earworm melody of “The Sidewinder” (from Morgan’s album of the same name) made the song a surprise pop crossover success in 1964, helping to cement hard bop’s profile and Morgan’s career path. He recorded a slew of top-tier albums for Blue Note through the rest of the decade, working with Jackie McLean, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, and many others. It all came to a tragically early end when Morgan was shot to death by his girlfriend after an argument in 1972, but the trumpeter’s trailblazing work paved the way for neo-bop work trumpeters such as Wallace Roney and Nicholas Payton.

Shreveport, LA, United States
July 10, 1938

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