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Frank Morgan

It is a real rarity for a jazz musician to have his career interrupted for a 30-year period and then be able to make a complete comeback. Frank Morgan showed a great deal of promise in his early days, but it was a long time before he could fulfill his potential. The son of guitarist Stanley Morgan (who played with the Ink Spots), he took up clarinet and alto early on. Morgan moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1947 and won a talent contest, leading to him record a solo with Freddy Martin. Morgan worked on the bop scene of early-'50s Los Angeles, recording with Teddy Charles (1953) and Kenny Clarke (1954), and leading his own album for GNP in 1955. But then 30 years of darkness intruded. A heroin addict (following in the footsteps of his idol Charlie Parker), Morgan was arrested for possession of drugs and was in and out of jails for decades. He performed locally on an occasional basis, but it was not until 1985 when he had an opportunity to lead his second date. Morgan managed to permanently kick drugs and after an initial period, during which he sounded very close to Charlie Parker, he developed his own bop-based style. Frank Morgan has recorded a string of excellent sets for Contemporary, Antilles, and Telarc, and has become an inspiring figure in the jazz world. His most recent albums include Tribute to Charlie Parker(2003), City Nights: Live at the Jazz Standard (2004), Raising the Standard (2005), and Night in the Life: Live at the Jazz Station (2007). ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Comments

1stchairflut e
Morgan is in the company of a very small cadre of alto players who defined pure jazz and always swung.
My wife and I saw Frank Morgan in Cocoa Beach, Florida at a show sponsored by the Space Coast Jazz Society shortly before he died. Loved his playing. We were very blessed to see him.
poppa_bear49
Simply put...the man can play.
I had a less than satisfactory encounter with Frank Morgan when I tried to play a recently discovered recording of him playing au privave with ...... Bird. His lifestyle left mental as well as physical damage, but he sure could play.
I was lucky to have seen
Frank Morgan at the Catalina Jazz club in Hollywood''
what a treet
Gretchen Burrell
baby, I am very glad that you made it back........ . .
beautiful work, frank!!
Although the causes of his death, on his death certificate, was kidney failure, his long addiction to heroin, as in the cases of many others, such as Art Pepper, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, etc., who also died of other causes, technically, led to his demise. It's too bad so many left all too soon because of this cursed drug.
Frank was another of the great voices in jazz, silenced by the common killer of many in his generation.. . . h e r o i n . But what a beautiful performer he was indeed.
Welcome home.
If you haven't already listen to Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, May 30, 2008 studio session. http://www.n p r . o r g / t e m p l a t e s / s t o r y / s t o r y . p h p ? s t o r y I d = 1 5 1 2 6 6 9 3

Set list:
* "Blue Monk" (Monk)
* "In A Sentimental Mood" (Ellington)
* "I'll Remember April" (DePaul, Johnston, Raye)
* "Billie's Bounce" (C. Parker)
* "Embraceable You" (G. Gershwin, I. Gershwin)
* "Goodbye" (G. Jenkins)
You must not talk about Frank Morgan, you must
listen to Frank Morgan !!!!!
FRANK MORGAN PASSED AWAY PEACEFULLY FROM KIDNEY FAILURE ON DECEMBER 14, 2007 IN HIS HOMETOWN OF MINNEAPOLIS. HE HAD JUST COMPLETED A SUCCESSFUL EUROPEAN TOUR. IN 1998, FRANK MORGAN SUFFERED A STROKE WHILE ENROUTE TO THE FLINT JAZZ FESTIVAL IN MICHIGAN. ALTHOUGH DOCTORS INITIALLY PREDICTED HE WOULD NEVER PLAY AGAIN, FRANK MORGAN WAS PLAYING WITHIN SIX MONTHS.
Met Frank at of all places a local drycleaners in Taos, New Mexico! Enjoyed his playing in a small hotel lounge in Taos, but until reading his Bio, I had no idea of his long and checkered musical career! Glad to hear of his recovery from addiction--n o t many make it. Sorry to hear of his recent death.
jrvinson45
Unfortunatel y Frank passed away in December of 2007.
Frank lived here in Milwaukee for a few years. He came back in the Spring of 2007 to play at our Pabst Theater. Accompanied by the up-and-comin g Grace Kelly (be sure to check her out!), it was truly a show to remember!! I had the honor and pleasure of speaking with Frank at the edge of the stage during intermission . What a rare gentleman and artist!! Sadly, Frank passed away a few months later. But I'll always cherish his advice - 'embrace music, and embrace LIFE!!'

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