Delightfulee: The Life and Music of Lee Morgan

This book tells the story of one of the most individual jazz stylists of his time.Lee Morgan began his professional career in Philadelphia at age fifteen. At eighteen, after a short stint with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Morgan went to New York to join Dizzy Gillespie's orchestra, where he stayed until 1958, when the group disbanded. A return to Blakey brought Morgan new opportunities, including his first attempts at composition. But however much his time with Blakey helped to advance his playing and writing, the destructive drug habits of Morgan's band mates exerted just as strong an influence. Within two years, Morgan would be back home in Philadelphia, penniless and strung out on heroin.Morgan's return to music in the early to mid 1960s witnessed a tremendous evolution in his playing. Formerly a virtuoso in the mold of his idol, Clifford Brown, Morgan brought to his critically acclaimed Blue Note records of the era an emotionally charged, muscular tone, full of poise and control. But it was with the record Sidewinder, recorded in 1963, that Morgan found his greatest fame and commercial success. The title tune, an infectious groove incorporating elements of R&B and a Latin tinge, set off a craze for crossover jazz. By the time of his death, at 34 - murdered by his common-law wife - Morgan had begun a new phase of his career, experimenting with more modal and free-form jazz.Jeff McMillan's Delightfulee is a biography of this important modern jazz figure and the first to include serious analysis of Morgan's music, both as a performer and a composer. McMillan also had exclusive access to Lee Morgan's now-deceased brother, who was able to provide unparalleled insight into Morgan's personal and family life.