I Called Him Morgan – Kasper Collin (2016)

I Called Him Morgan is a 2016 Swedish produced documentary film written and directed by Kasper Collin which gives an account of the life of and relation between jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and his common-law wife Helen Morgan, later responsible for his murder in February 1972. The documentary was produced over a period of seven years, 2009 – 2016, and edited over a period of three years. Among the participants in I Called Him Morgan are Wayne Shorter, Jymie Merritt, Billy Harper, Judith Johnson, Bennie Maupin, Larry Ridley, Paul West, Larry Reni Thomas, Al Harrison, Charli Persip and Albert ‘Tootie’ Heath. … There are 20 reviews registered at Metacritic. Eight of them are registered as 100/100, and the film has reached a metascore of 90/100. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 96% ‘Certified Fresh’ score based on 52 reviews. The site’s consensus states: ‘I Called Him Morgan doubles as a seductive tribute to its subject’s jazz passion as well as an absorbing look at a fatally doomed relationship’. In his New York Times review A.O. Scott called the film “a delicate human drama about love, ambition and the glories of music’. In Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan noted: ‘Artistic, obsessive and intoxicating, ‘I Called Him Morgan’ is a documentary with a creative soul, and that makes all the difference. /…/ Using a dazzling blend of cinematic tools, aural as well as visual, Collin recreates both individual lives and an entire world. As a slice of recovered and illuminated time, ‘I Called Him Morgan’ has few peers. /…/ The film’s centerpiece interview is an arresting one-of-a-kind narrative that Helen Morgan herself recorded on a cassette-tape recorder a month before she died. Speaking with writer and teacher Larry Reni Thomas, she details her difficult life, her relationship with Morgan and how and why she came to shoot him at a Manhattan jazz club named Slugs in the midst of a blizzard so terrible that it delayed ambulances, contributing to her husband’s death.’ …”
NY Times – Review: ‘I Called Him Morgan,’ a Jazz Tale of Talent and Tragedy (Video)
I Called Him Morgan (Video)
YouTube: I Called Him Morgan – Trailer

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