Frank Morgan, a bebop-jazz sax player who modeled his playing style after Charlie Parker’s, died Dec. 14 at age 73. After some early successes, Morgan succumbed to heroin addiction, which led to 30 years of crime and imprisonment — and an absence from the stage. But while he was in jail, Morgan did play with other inmates; most famously, he and Art Pepper formed a small ensemble at San Quentin. The Washington Post reports: “Once asked why so many jazz musicians became addicts, [Morgan] replied: ‘It’s about being hip. Jazz musicians would rather be dead than not be hip.'” Fresh Air remembers Morgan with an archival interview from August 1987. David Edelstein, Fresh Air‘s arbiter of things filmic, offers his annual year-end movies wrap-up. This time, his Top 10 list has 11 entries, as the number-nine slot features a tie. Here’s the list, with links to reviews and features on NPR.org:
1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
2. Away From Her
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Sweeney Todd
5. The Savages
6. No Country for Old Men
7. No End in Sight
8. Michael Clayton
10. Grace is Gone
* denotes a tie
A report issued last week by the Urban League of Philadelphia concludes that huge racial disparities still exist in the City, particularly when it comes to economic opportunity, education,employment and health. We talk about the report, its findings and recommendations with PATRICIA COULTER of the Urban League of Philadelphia, KIA GREGORY who writes for the Philadelphia Weekly, and PHOEBE HADDON, professor of law at Temple. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
The story of identical twins separated at childhood for a secret nature vs. nurture experiment. The children, two girls, were adopted into families who were unaware of the nature of the study and were also never told that their child had a twin. Three years ago the two met for the first time. We’ll talk with the twins PAULA BERNSTEIN and ELYSE SCHEIN who are co-authors of Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
Michael Hurley is an American folksinger, guitarist and fiddler who became a part of the Greenwich Village music scene in the late ’60s and ’70s. Born and raised in Bucks County, Penn., Hurley released his first album in 1964. But he remained inactive in his solo career, occasionally lending songs to the Holy Modal Rounders and the Youngbloods until the early ’70s, when he wrote two more albums: Armchair Boogie and Hi-Fi Snock Uptown.
Hurley intermittently released albums throughout the ’80s and ’90s, mostly by himself or on small labels. In 2001, Locust Music reissued his first album, renaming it Blueberry Wine, with new artwork by Hurley himself. His latest release is Ancestral Swamp, which makes clear that Hurley has lost none of his original uniqueness or style.
MICHAEL HURLEY: Hog Of The Forsaken