VIFF 2015: Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story recounts a bittersweet life

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      Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story (USA)  

      Alto saxophonist Frank Morgan was anointed by Charlie Parker himself to take the reins of that instrument at bebop’s peak. Bird actually met the seven-year-old Morgan at a Kansas City music store to help pick out an instrument—one of the few stories not to make it into this bittersweet ode to a phoenix who kept singeing his own wings.

      The doc cuts between the story of his life and an all-star tribute concert at San Quentin State Prison, where he spent many of his formative years due to his smack addiction (also Bird-inspired).

      What he did on the outside is worth a feature film: Morgan robbed banks and ran brazen scams both to support his habit and because he was good at it. But he never stopped getting a beautiful sound from his horn.