On a snowy night in February 1972, the 33 year old jazz trumpet star Lee Morgan was shot dead by his common-law wife, Helen, during a gig at a club in New York City. The murder sent shockwaves through the jazz community, and the memory of the event still haunts the people who knew the Morgans. Helen served time for the crime and, following her release, retreated into obscurity. Over 20 years later, a chance encounter led her to give a remarkable interview. Helen’s revealing audio “testimony” acts as a refrain throughout the film, which draws together a wealth of archival photographs and footage, notable talking heads and incredible jazz music to tell the ill-fated pair’s story.
“It’s mesmerizing, too vivid to be evanescent, too precious to hold.”– David Edelstein, NEW YORK MAGAZINE
“Artistic, obsessive and intoxicating, I Called Him Morgan is a documentary with a creative soul, and that makes all the difference.” – Kenneth Turan, LOS ANGELES TIMES
“This is not a lurid true-crime tale of jealousy and drug addiction, but a delicate human drama about love, ambition and the glories of music.” – A.O.Scott, THE NEW YORK TIMES