Preview: I Called Him Morgan

The Lee Morgan documentary shows for at least a week at London's Bertha DocHouse cinema, telling the story of the influential trumpeter who was murdered in 1972

I Called Him Morgan is described as "...part jazz history, part true-crime tale" and as " evocative look at the power of art, addiction and desire". The documentary is directed by Swedish documentary film-maker Kasper Collin who also directed the 2006 movie My Name Is Albert Ayler. It uses archive photographs, movie footage and interviews to explore the events in Morgan's life which eventually led to his common-law wife, Helen (pictured right with Morgan), shooting him to death in a Manhattan jazz club one cold February night.

Morgan was just 33 years old when he died. His career encompassed work with Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane as well as leading his own bands and recording for Blue Note.

Sources used in the movie include interviews with Helen, photos of Morgan in action and interviews with friends and colleagues of the trumpeter including Wayne Shorter, Bennie Maupin and Albert "Tootie" Heath.

I Called Him Morgan was shown twice at the 2016 London Film Festival: the Jazz Journal preview can be read here. The Bertha DocHouse will show the film daily from Friday 28 July to Thursday 3 August with two screenings on Wednesday 2. The Bertha DocHouse, based at Curzon Bloomsbury, is the UK's first cinema devoted to documentary films and events.

Screening times for I Called Him Morgan vary from day to day. For further information, to book tickets and to view a short trailer please go to the Bertha DocHouse website. Josh Hughes, press officer at the DocHouse said "We’ve got the film playing for a week but if it's popular we’ll keep it going for another week!"

Bruce Lindsay

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