This raised eyebrow and lick of the lips became diluted as jazz was passed into the hands of white people in the northern cities. Actually, as he told Lomax some years later, Morton had to write incredibly racy, saucy lines or else people would take him - a slender, long-fingered piano-player piano was considered a lady's instrument at the time - to be of the queer, effeet variety, and that would have been carreer suicide.
There's also a joyful exuberance to this work that lies just on the cusp of total anarchy and chaos but is tightly structured enough to come barreling through in one piece. It is evidently known, beyond contradiction that New Orleans is the cradle of jazz and I, myself, happened to be the creator in the year Nonetheless, it is beyond denying that Morton, in his nomadic wanderings during the early twentieth century, codified a wealth of influences into a music that broke from the stiffness of ragtime to fashion a nascent jazz that was greater than the sum of its parts.
Biography by Scott Yanow One of the very first giants of jazz, Jelly Roll Morton did himself a lot of harm posthumously by exaggerating his worth, claiming to have invented jazz in Morton's accomplishments as an early innovator are so vast that he did not really need to stretch the truth. He was a greatly underrated pianist who had his own individual style. Although he only took one vocal on records in the s "Doctor Jazz" , Morton in his late-'30s recordings proved to be an effective vocalist.
And he was a true character. Jelly Roll Morton's pre activities are shrouded in legend. He started playing piano when he was ten, worked in the bordellos of Storyville while a teenager for which some of his relatives disowned him and by was traveling throughout the South. He spent time in other professions as a gambler, pool player, vaudeville comedian and even a pimp but always returned to music.
The chances are good that in Morton had few competitors among pianists and he was an important transition figure between ragtime and early jazz.
He played in Los Angeles from and then moved to Chicago where, for the next six years, he was at his peak. Morton's recordings of piano solos introduced his style, repertoire and brilliance. Although his earliest band sides were quite primitive, his recordings for Victor with his Red Hot Peppers are among the most exciting of his career.
He also recorded some exciting trios with Johnny and Baby Dodds. With the center of jazz shifting to New York by , Morton relocated. His bragging ways unfortunately hurt his career and he was not able to always get the sidemen he wanted. His Victor recordings continued through and, although some of the performances are sloppy or erratic, there were also a few more classics.
But with the rise of the Depression, Jelly Roll Morton drifted into obscurity. He had made few friends in New York, his music was considered old-fashioned and he did not have the temperament to work as a sideman.
During his only appearance on records was on a little-known Wingy Manone date. He ended up playing in a Washington D. Ironically Morton's "King Porter Stomp" became one of the most popular songs of the swing era, but few knew that he wrote it.
However in Alan Lomax recorded him in an extensive and fascinating series of musical interviews for the Library of Congress. Morton's storytelling was colorful and his piano playing in generally fine form as he reminisced about old New Orleans and demonstrated the other piano styles of the era. A decade later the results would finally be released on albums.
Morton arrived in New York in determined to make a comeback. He did lead a few band sessions with such sidemen as Sidney Bechet, Red Allen and Albert Nicholas and recorded some wonderful solo sides but none of those were big sellers. In late , an ailing Morton decided to head out to Los Angeles but, when he died at the age of 50, he seemed like an old man. Ironically his music soon became popular again as the New Orleans jazz revivalist movement caught fire and, if he had lived just a few more years, the chances are good that he would have been restored to his former prominence as was Kid Ory.
Jelly Roll Morton's early piano solos and classic Victor recordings along with nearly every record he made have been reissued on CD. A baptismal certificate issued in lists his date of birth as October 20, ; however Morton himself and his half-sisters claimed the September 20, , date is correct.
His World War I draft registration card shows September 13, He was born to F. Lamothe and Louise Monette written as Lemott and Monett on his baptismal certificate. Eulalie helped him to be christened with the name Ferdinand. No birth certificate has been found to date. He took the name "Morton" by Anglicizing the name of his stepfather, Mouton. New Orleans He was, along with Tony Jackson, one of the best regarded pianists in the Storyville District early in the 20th century.
At the age of fourteen, he began working as a piano player in a brothel or as it was referred to then, a sporting house. While working there, he was living with his religious church-going great-grandmother and had her convinced that he worked in a barrel factory.
Morton's grandmother eventually found out that he was playing jazz in a local brothel, and subsequently kicked him out of her house. She told me that devil music would surely bring about my downfall, but I just couldn't put it behind me.
Touring Around , Morton started wandering the American South, working with minstrel shows, gambling and composing. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith caught his act, years before the blues were widely played in the North. In — he toured with girlfriend Rosa Brown as a vaudeville act before settling in Chicago for three years.
By he had started writing down his compositions, and in his "Jelly Roll Blues" was arguably the first jazz composition ever published, recording as sheet music the New Orleans traditions that had been jealously guarded by the musicians.
C hicago Morton moved back to Chicago in to claim authorship of his recently-published rag "The Wolverines" which had become a hit as "Wolverine Blues" in the Windy City. Edit Release Sell This Item. Ragtime , Dixieland. Piano — Jelly Roll Morton. Barcode: Add Review. Have: Want: 27 Avg Rating: 4. Add a Video. Records by bulker Contributors drugolebowski , point.
Disc 1. Burnin' the Iceberg Jelly Roll Morton. Courthouse Bump Jelly Roll Morton. Pretty Lil Jelly Roll Morton. Sweet Peter Jelly Roll Morton. Jersey Joe Jelly Roll Morton. Mississippi Mildred Jelly Roll Morton. Mint Julep Jelly Roll Morton. Turtle Twist Jelly Roll Morton. Each Day Jelly Roll Morton. Little Lawrence Jelly Roll Morton. Harmony Blues Jelly Roll Morton. Fussy Mabel Jelly Roll Morton. Ponchartrain Jelly Roll Morton.
Oil Well Jelly Roll Morton. Load of Coal Jelly Roll Morton. Crazy Chords Jelly Roll Morton. Primrose Stomp Jelly Roll Morton. Low Gravy Jelly Roll Morton. Strokin' Away Jelly Roll Morton. Mushmouth Shuffle Jelly Roll Morton. Gambling Jack Jelly Roll Morton. More like this Similar Items. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Find more information about: Jelly Roll Morton.
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There are the all time classics such as Doctor Jazz, Dead Man blues, and the tracks with the great clarinettist Johnny Dodds the last eight tracks. Dodds presence added something extra to what was already great music. The last two tracks offer a chance to hear Morton the pianist - as he is joined only by the Dodds brothers. The 2nd CD offers anything from piano solos to a semi big band, recorded in Instead of Dodds we have the opportunity to hear Barney Bigard and Zutty Singleton, two other New Orleans giants, join Morton for a trio on the last four tracks.
There are also highlights featuring a band with Henry Allen, J. The 3rd CD was recorded during , and is actually the last CD of the box set, as the remaing two CD's contain alternative takes of songs that appear in the first three. I love "Harmony Blues", "Ponchatrain" - to me this is just outstanding music. CD's 4 and 5 are alternative takes of some of the best songs.
They offer a chance to see how much of the music was actually improvised and how much was written down. Overall - for its musical depths, it historic value, its great remastering, and the very reasonable price - this is HIGHLY recommended.
John Steadman Productions. He is famous in the record world for surreptiously recording concerts he has produced over the years and releasing the material on his label without either paying royalties or making any attempt at getting any permission from the artists he has. The list is very long. He has been called the "British Don Robey" and is so reviled in London he has to have a bodyguard. Beware JSP records.
Grandpa's Spells. Original Jelly-Roll Blues. Cannon Ball Blues. Hyena Stomp. Billy Goat Stomp. Wild Man Blues. Jungle Blues.This 5 CD Jelly Roll Morton set is up to JSP's usual standards. The music is great, the re-mastering is very good and the selection of tracks is comprehensive. Jelly Roll Morton was one of the leading figures in jazz. This is a very worthwhile collection of his recordings at a reasonable price/5(41).