On a snowy night in February 1972, celebrated jazz musician Lee Morgan was shot dead by his common-law wife Helen during a gig at a club in New York City. The murder sent shockwaves through the jazz community, and the memory of the event still haunts those who knew the Morgans. This feature documentary by Swedish filmmaker Kasper Collin is a love letter to two unique personalities and the music that brought them together. A film about love, jazz and America.
The Best Documentary about "Black Classical Music" and a Long-Ago New York City
If you love and understand real jazz--and especially if you love the long-ago New York City that gave birth to bebop and hard bop--there is nothing out there like this film. It is also fitting that a non-American made it, given that the United States has so turned its back on its greatest artistic creation and the musicians who created it. (Just compare this film with the shameful recent American documentary about Trane--with its pandering casting of Denzel Washington as narrator and utterly stupid and irrelevant choices of people to interview (Bill Clinton? Carlos Santana? Common? Cornell West? John Densmore?). From the late-night Larry Thomas jazz radio program and New York City snowfall and that opens I Called Him Morgan(and hey, whatever happened to that snow? It seems to have disappeared along with the jazz scene),the interviews with jazz musicians of Lee Morgan's time (one of whom who objects to the term "jazz," aptly preferring "black classical music"), and with it's beautifully paced rendering of acompelling American story of love and pain...for someone like me, who lived through all of that, it just could not have been better.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?