Edward Lee Morgan (July 10, 1938 – February 19, 1972) was an American jazz trumpeter. Known mainly as one of the key hard bop musicians of the 1960s, Morgan came to prominence in his late teens, recording on John Coltrane‘s Blue Train (1957) and with the band of drummer Art Blakeybefore launching a solo career. Morgan stayed with Blakey until 1961 and started to record as leader soon after. His song “The Sidewinder“, on the album of the same name, became a surprise crossover hit on the pop and R&B charts in 1964, while Morgan’s recordings found him touching on other styles of music as his artistry matured. Soon after The Sidewinder was released, Morgan rejoined Blakey for a short period of time. After leaving Blakey for the final time, Morgan continued to work prolifically as both a leader and a sideman with the likes of Hank Mobley and Wayne Shorter, becoming, in the words of critic Steve Huey, “[a] cornerstone of the Blue Note label roster”. Morgan’s career was cut short at the age of 33, when his common-law wife shot and killed him following a confrontation at Slug’s Saloon.
Edward Lee Morgan was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 10, 1938, the youngest of Otto Ricardo and Nettie Beatrice Morgan’s four children.