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Thread: Last Set at Slugs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Easton, PA
    Posts
    937

    Last Set at Slugs

    Season's Greetings to all the good folk in the AR forum! My sincere apologies be being rather absent of late -- just a LOT of regular life stuff keeping me distracted. Finally had a day off and was able to do this piece that I have been thinking about for the last few weeks.
    -----

    The history of 20th century music is littered tragically hip characters -- musical geniuses that self destructed or were cut down at a young age. Blues great Robert Johnson was just 27 when he died in 1938. Hank Williams was 29 when he OD'd in 1953, CharlieParker was 34 when he checked out in 1955. The 1960s contributed Brian Jones and Otis Redding to the list. No decade saw the loss of more prominent musicians than the 1970s. Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Elvis, Joplin, Duane Allman, Tommy Bolin, Jim Croce, Lowell George, Keith Moon and Lee Morgan were all taken in the '70s. What's that? You recognize all of these names EXCEPT Lee Morgan?

    Lee Morgan's story is a modern American Greek Tragedy. Introduced to the trumpet at age 13, Morgan takes a few lessons with Clifford Brown -- who influenced a generation of jazz trumpeters despite being killed in a car crash at age 25 himself -- and then goes on to join Dizzy Gillespie's Big Band at the age of 18. Morgan begins recording with many of the hard bop heros of the late 1950s. He is featured on Coltrane's groundbreaking LP "BlueTrane" in 1957. He joins Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, but also develops a nasty heroin habit. Within a few years he is kicked out of the band and he goes into a kind of self-imposed exile in his home town in Philly.

    He meets an aging hooker named Helen who helps him get himself back together and he returns to record one of Jazz's few hit records, The Sidewinder, in 1964 on his first recording session back.

    Nothing succeeds like success and he is soon in demand again. Unfortunately, he hasn't completely left the drug scene behind and in a bizarre sequence of events involving a drug deal gone bad, revenge, a new young girlfriend and some seriously bad karma, Helen ends up accidentally shooting him dead with his own gun on the bandstand at Slugs in NYC in February of 1972. (Listen to Billy Hart's telling of the tale: The Day Lee Morgan Died -- warning strong language)

    The story is so powerful that it inspired playwright Samuel Harps to pen "Don't Explain," his multi-award winning drama about the event. Harps told me that after she shot Morgan she held him in her arms and cried as he died from loss of blood.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, On., Canada
    Posts
    5,356
    Al, you have generated a lot of heat with your wonderful colours in this sad tale

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WV, USA
    Posts
    1,999
    Love your writing and the painting communicates well to.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    2,536
    Wow, Far out, Dude. The story is amazing - So is the art!!!
    My Website - SkylarArt.com
    "Beauty Draws those who Draw Beauty" - Skylar

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    159
    Nice one with lovely colours!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,282
    Al, this is so.. hm... saxy...:-) i know, jazzy and he is playing trumpet anyway... wow... the colors are danzing happily in a wonderful tune. Gorgeous work. Good to see you again. :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    59°57′NW 30°19′EL
    Posts
    1,082
    Surprisingly and admirably (about your picture).
    I have not had the patience to translate your text, sorry
    choosing the words, we lose thoughts
    facebook, B, tumblr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    4,443
    I admire your style very much... This is another topnotch image....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    14,335
    Thank you for sharing his story Al. Beautifully painted and always distinctively Alkratzer!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Very Small town in Illinois
    Posts
    5,170
    Powerful story, and a great painting.. Well done Al!
    My Gallery:

    http://members.artrage.com/vb_users/2939
    Deviant Art Gallery:


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