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  #1  
Old Dec 14, 2007, 04:16 PM
Brian Nation Brian Nation is offline
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Frank Morgan has died

Frank Morgan, a fine altoist in the Charlie Parker mode who jammed with Chet in the early 50s, died this morning of cancer in his Minneapolis home. He was 73. (He was born 12/23/33, to the day exactly four years after Chet.) A couple of weeks earlier, he had ended a lengthy European tour with Dutch pianist Rein de Graaff and his trio.

Morgan was off the scene because of 'personal problems' for decades before he made quite a sensational comeback in the 80s. From then on, he remained clean and performed regularly.

This item (below) appeared in the Minneapolis-St.Paul Star Tribune
yesterday evening, and he passed away this morning, December 14.

Item-World: An unsinkable spirit
Last update: December 13, 2007 - 5:22 PM

An unsinkable spirit
After two dozen gigs and a monthlong European tour, alto-sax great
Frank Morgan wasn't feeling well when he arrived home in Minneapolis
Nov. 30. The diagnosis: inoperable colon cancer. "He fades in and out
of sleep but his spirits are very good," said his second cousin by
marriage, Lance Taylor, with whom the 73-year-old jazzman has lived
for the past two years. In his hospital room, Morgan sometimes
listens (softly) to his favorites -- Charlie Parker, Miles Davis,
John Coltrane, Ahmad Jamal -- and has been autographing his CDs for
staffers. A prodigy-turned-junkie who spent 30 years in prison, he
made a comeback in the 1980s and moved back to his birth city in
2005. His final days will be spent at home, in hospice care. Taylor
said Morgan "made peace with his manager on the phone and said his
usual line: 'Ain't it great to be alive?' He knows what's happening."



Frank Morgan at The Cellar April 25, 2004
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Old Dec 14, 2007, 06:51 PM
cweeds cweeds is offline
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Remembered

I remember that weekend in 2004 very fondly. Frank Morgan was very easy for me to deal with. Unfortunately he wasn't the most gracious to Ross, Dave and Andre with whom he was playing. That part of the weekend was a bit disappointed. As the weekend went on however Frank became more comfortable and wasn't nearly as hard on the band. He should've have been hard on them at all as they sounded great but Frank had a reputation for being that way with 'local' rhythm sections. In any event, musically speaking Frank played with the vim and vigour of a man half his age. He really sounded beautiful. You could hear every emotion in his playing. Happieness 'to be alive' as he always put it, sadness, anger, frustration, angst, joy. It was fantastic. Unfortunately there were not many people there to witness it for the three days. I was there for all three and loved every note. A true bebopper! May he rest in peace!
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Old Dec 14, 2007, 08:23 PM
Brian Nation Brian Nation is offline
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Another photo of Morgan, taken the same night.

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Old Dec 15, 2007, 01:28 AM
Guy Guy is offline
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Thirty years in prison?! Did he kill someone?
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Old Dec 15, 2007, 01:33 AM
Brian Nation Brian Nation is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
Thirty years in prison?! Did he kill someone?
Drugs.
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  #6  
Old Dec 15, 2007, 01:41 AM
Gavin Walker Gavin Walker is offline
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No Guy, he was simply a heroin addict and kept breaking parole and because of that they kept upping his sentence....sad story but he never stopped playing and some of his prison sessions are legendary as people like Phil Woods and Shelly Manne would visit and play sessions with cats like Frank, trumpeter Dupree Bolton, Art Pepper, pianist Arnold Ross and others who were also incarcerated for the same reasons....too bad no recordings exist. Morgan emerged clean and sober in the mid-eighties and re-established himself as a premier bop altoist.
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  #7  
Old Dec 15, 2007, 11:12 AM
Brian Nation Brian Nation is offline
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Links

Saxophonist Morgan Embodied Be-Bop's Spirit: An Appreciation by Jeremy Gerard

Frank Morgan, 1933-2007 by Doug Ramsey (Rifftides)
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