This is the first biography of the jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan (1938-72). He was a prodigy: recruited to Dizzy Gillespie's big band while still a teenager, joining Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers not much after, by his early-20s Morgan had played on four continents and dozens of albums. The trumpeter would go on to cultivate a personal and highly influential style, and to make records - most notably "The Sidewinder" - which would sell amounts almost unheard of in jazz. While what should have been Morgan's most successful years were hampered by a heroin addiction, the ascendant black liberation movement of the late-60s gave the musician a new, political impulse, and he returned to the jazz scene to become a vociferous campaigner for black musicians' rights and representation. But Morgan's personal life remained troubled, and during a fight with his girlfriend at a New York club, he was shot and killed, aged 33.
Tom Perchard was born in 1976. He received his doctorate from the University of London, and he teaches at Goldsmiths College and the University of Westminster. He is a regular contributor to The Wire magazine. This is his first book.
1. Introduction: Black Philadelphia2. Music and opportunity in Tioga3. Learning and teaching, formal and informal4. Performance, competition and status in the 'cool world'5. The break6. Quick progress7. Under Art Blakey's influence8. Life in the bebop business and the soul jazz style9. Blues truth, sound and identity10, Interlude: jazz criticism and race politics in the early-1960s11. Symbolism, signification and The Sidewinder12. Decline and ascent13. Modes, changes and 'The Beatles'14. Drug15. Organisation and protest16. Black culture between the national and the universal17. Teaching tradition and change18. Conclusion: East 3rd Street