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New Lee Morgan documentary: A tragic but poetic love letter to jazz’s legendary trumpeter

A portrait of Lee Morgan from 1960 featured in the documentary
A portrait of Lee Morgan from 1960 featured in the documentary "I Called Him Morgan," directed by Kasper Collin.
©Val Wilmer/CTSIMAGES. Courtesy of FilmRise/Submarine Deluxe/Kasper Collin Produktion AB

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In 1972, Lee Morgan was at Slug’s Saloon in New York City for a gig when a fight broke out.

Morgan grabbed the aggravator and threw her outside of the club, only to be shot in the chest with a pistol. Holding the pistol was his common law wife, Helen.

The events surrounding that snowy, February evening are pieced together in a haunting but beautiful new documentary: “I Called Him Morgan” reveals Helen was not only her husband’s murderer, but the same woman who nourished him out of a heroin addiction and into an incredible career as one of jazz’s greatest trumpeters.

Host Larry mantle speaks with the writer-director of the film, Kasper Collin, about its making and the impact of Morgan’s music on his life.

"I Called Him Morgan" is playing at the Laemmle's Playhouse and the Laemmle's Monica Film Center.


Kasper Collin, writer and director of the documentary “I Called Him Morgan”