50 Jazz Blues Licks is an exclusive series of video guitar lessons by David Hamburger covering the jazz blues styles of historically great guitarists like Geoge Benson, Kenny Burrell, Joe Pass, and many others. A new lick will be released each week, so be sure to subscribe and check back often!

Lee Morgan came blasting out of the Philadelphia jazz scene as a 17-year-old wunderkind in Dizzy Gillespie’s mid-nineteen fifties band. Jazz critic Nat Hentoff recalls first hearing Morgan as the trumpeter played a dazzling cadenza on Gillespie’s signature tune “A Night In Tunisia,” which, to put things in perspective, is a little like first hearing some new guitarist because Jimi Hendrix has just hired him to take the solo on “Voodoo Child.” Morgan gained further attention through two separate stints with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and recorded prolifically for Blue Note as a solo artist and sideman throughout the 1960s. Murdered by an ex-girlfriend in 1971 in what David Rosenthal, author of Hard Bop, describes as “a scene straight out of ‘Frankie and Johnny,’” Morgan was considered by many to epitomize the hard bop school, and his success with “The Sidewinder” in 1964 made such boogaloo grooves de rigeur for his labelmates and many other musicians over the next half-decade. The original recording is in Eb; I’ve placed this Morgan-inspired lick in F7, leading from the I over to the IV chord.

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Video Guitar Lesson

If you like these guitar lessons, be sure to also check out Frank Vignola’s Jazz Up Your Blues, which showcases essential jazz blues vocabulary and techniques, Mark Stefani’s Jazzed Blues Assembly Lines, which takes you on a sonic learning tour through the funky rhythm and blues stylings and fretboard concepts of top jazz blues players, and of course all of David Hamburger’s courses.