I Called Him Morgan

Director Kasper Collin
Sweden, United States / 92 min. / 2016 / English


An atmospheric thriller. The trumpeter Lee Morgan was murdered by his wife in the jazz club he was playing at. This film reconstructs the life of the musician, precocious and affable, but also that of his temperamental wife (through a long interview that weaves through the action) with witnesses, monochrome photos and songs, right up to the fateful day.  

An intimate, twilight film, which adds ingredients from a murder mystery novel and sociological documentation to pure musical analysis. A film about jazz that is both thriller and master class on black culture. The sensational headlines come swerving at us: the jazz trumpeter was assassinated at thirty-three years of age, by his wife, in a club where he was playing. On one hand, this film reconstructs the life of the precocious, brilliant musician, from when he was signed by Dizzy Gillespie at sixteen. Ivy League booted and suited, Lee Morgan stood out for his excellence: We see his journey in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, the development of the Blue Note sound and the birth of his style (“He knew how to tell a story musically”). On the other hand, and guiding the development of the story, is the chequered life of Mrs Morgan, rebuilt off the bat of an enigmatic tape recorded by a radio DJ. There, the future murderess revisits her arduous path, the atomic collision of meeting Morgan, their romantic relationship and the fateful day of the assassination. Alcohol, altercations, style, jazz clubs that are ports in snowstorms. Violence and death, and a trumpet solo.

 

Details
Subtitles
VOSC

Showing format

Participation
in festivals
Venice Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, London Film Festival

Leadings
Lee Morgan, Helen Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Jymie Merritt, Paul West, Bennie Maupin, Albert Heath

Screenwriter(s)
Kasper Collin

Editor(s)
Hanna Lejonqvist, Eva Hillström, Dino Jonsäter, Kasper Collin

Camera
Bradford Young, Erik Vallsten

Sound designer
Jan Alvermark, Mario Adamson

Producer
Kasper Collin

Film company

Film distributor

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