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Jelly Roll Morton

Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (October 20, 1890 – July 10, 1941), known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton, was an American ragtime and jazz pianist, bandleader, and composer. Morton was jazz's first arranger, proving that a genre rooted in improvisation could retain its essential characteristics when notated. His composition "Jelly Roll Blues", published in 1915, was one of the first published jazz compositions. Morton also wrote "King Porter Stomp", "Wolverine Blues", "Black Bottom Stomp", and "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say", the last a tribute to New Orleans musicians from the turn of the 20th century.

Morton's claim to have invented jazz in 1902 was criticized. Music critic Scott Yanow wrote, "Jelly Roll Morton did himself a lot of harm posthumously by exaggerating his worth...Morton's accomplishments as an early innovator are so vast that he did not really need to stretch the truth." Gunther Schuller says of Morton's "hyperbolic assertions" that there is "no proof to the contrary" and that Morton's "considerable accomplishments in themselves provide reasonable substantiation". In 2013, Katy Martin published an article arguing that Alan Lomax's book of interviews put Morton in a negative light. Lomax disagreed that Morton was an egotist. "In being called a supreme egotist, Jelly Roll was often a victim of loose and lurid reporting. If we read the words that he himself wrote, we learn that he almost had an inferiority complex and said that he created his own style of jazz piano because 'All my fellow musicians were much faster in manipulations, I thought than I, and I did not feel as though I was in their class.' So he used a slower tempo to permit flexibility through the use of more notes, a pinch of Spanish to give a number of right seasoning, the avoidance of playing triple forte continuously, and many other points". – Quoted in John Szwed, Dr. Jazz.

Birth and Death Data: Born October 20th, 1890 (Gulfport), Died July 10th, 1941 (Los Angeles)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1921 - 1940

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, piano, leader, director, vocalist, speaker, lyricist, songwriter, arranger

Notes: Some disc labels credit as Ferd. Morton.

Recordings (Results 26-50 of 165 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-45620 10-in. 6/11/1928 Kansas City stomps Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-45621 10-in. 6/11/1928 Shoe shiner's drag Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-45622 10-in. 6/11/1928 Boogaboo Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-45623 10-in. 6/11/1928 Shreveport Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance ensemble leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-45624 10-in. 6/11/1928 Mournful serenade Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-45625 10-in. 6/11/1928 Honey babe Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, composer  
Victor BVE-45626 10-in. 6/11/1928 Sidewalk blues Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-46096 10-in. 7/11/1928 Milenberg joys McKinney's Cotton Pickers Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BVE-48433 10-in. 12/6/1928 Everybody loves my honey now Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-48434 10-in. 12/6/1928 Red hot pepper Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-48435 10-in. 12/6/1928 Deep creek Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-48436 10-in. 12/6/1928 You oughter see my gal Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-49448 10-in. 7/8/1929 Pep Jelly Roll Morton Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-49449 10-in. 7/8/1929 Seattle hunch Jelly Roll Morton Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-49450 10-in. 7/8/1929 Fat Frances Jelly Roll Morton Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-49451 10-in. 7/8/1929 Freakish Jelly Roll Morton Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-49452 10-in. 7/9/1929 Burnin' the iceberg Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-49453 10-in. 7/9/1929 Courthouse bump Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-49454 10-in. 7/9/1929 Pretty Lil Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-49455 10-in. 7/10/1929 Sweet Aneta mine Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-49456 10-in. 7/10/1929 New Orleans bump Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-49457 10-in. 7/12/1929 Down my way Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-49458 10-in. 7/12/1929 Try me out Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-49459 10-in. 7/12/1929 Tank town bump Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-57080 10-in. 11/13/1929 Sweet Peter Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
(Results 26-50 of 165 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Morton, Jelly Roll," accessed June 23, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101896.

Morton, Jelly Roll. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 23, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101896.

"Morton, Jelly Roll." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 23 June 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101896

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