Lee Morgan (10 July 1938 in Philadelphia – 19 February 1972 in New York City) was an American hard bop trumpeter.
Lee Morgan, a leading (hard bop & modal jazz) trumpeter and composer, recorded prolifically from 1956 until a day before his death in February 1972. Originally interested in the vibraphone, he soon showed a growing enthusiasm for the trumpet; and on his 13th birthday his sister Ernestine gave him his first trumpet. His primary stylistic influence was Clifford Brown, who gave the teenager a few lessons before he joined the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band at 18, and remained a member for a year and a half, until economics forced Dizzy to disband the unit in 1958. He began recording for Blue Note Records in 1956, eventually recording 25 albums as a leader for the company, with more than 250 musicians. He also recorded on the Vee-Jay label.
He was a featured sideman on several early Hank Mobley records, as well as on John Coltrane's Blue Train (1957) on which, he played a trumpet with an angled bell (given to him by Gillespie) and delivered one of his most celebrated solos on the title track.