Ken Clarke, QC, MP returns with another series of Jazz Greats. Joining Ken in the studio for this first instalment is the lecturer and musician Ian Smith. Their subject: the American hard-bop trumpeter Lee Morgan.
Lee Morgan's tense, urgent trumpet with his searing high register and funky timing was the essence of harp-bop. He became a professional musician in his late teens when he joined Dizzy Gillespie's big band in 1956. It was the perfect launch-pad for his career and he went on to play with some of the best in the genre: Art Blakey, John Coltrane and Benny Golson. Perhaps most known for his landmark album "The Sidewinder," Morgan became one of the legendary Jazz label Blue Note's best loved stars.
He may have been blessed with musical talent but the rest of Morgan's life was something of a mess. A crippling heroin addiction hampered his recording career and resulted in a painful encounter with gangsters. While the unfortunate tangle of his personal relationships brought about his rather dramatic demise.