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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 51-75 of 165 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-57081 10-in. 11/13/1929 Jersey Joe Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-57082 10-in. 11/13/1929 Mississippi Mildred Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-57083 10-in. 11/13/1929 Mint julep Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-57565 10-in. 12/2/1929 You oughta see my gal Wilton Crawley Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-57566 10-in. 12/2/1929 Futuristic blues Wilton Crawley Clarinet soloist, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-57567 10-in. 12/2/1929 Keep your business to yourself Wilton Crawley Clarinet soloist, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-57568 10-in. 12/2/1929 She's got what I need Wilton Crawley Clarinet soloist, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-57761 10-in. 12/11/1929 I hate a man like you Lizzie Miles Female vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano, composer, lyricist  
Victor BVE-57762 10-in. 12/11/1929 Don't tell me nothin' 'bout my man Lizzie Miles Female vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano, composer, lyricist  
Victor BVE-57784 10-in. 12/17/1929 Smilin' the blues away Jelly Roll Morton Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-57785 10-in. 12/17/1929 Turtle twist Jelly Roll Morton Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-57786 10-in. 12/17/1929 My little Dixie home Jelly Roll Morton Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-57787 10-in. 12/17/1929 That's like it ought to be Jelly Roll Morton Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-59504 10-in. 3/5/1930 Each day Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-59505 10-in. 3/5/1930 If someone would only love me Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-59506 10-in. 3/5/1930 That'll never do Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, composer, director  
Victor BVE-59507 10-in. 3/5/1930 I'm looking for a little blue bird Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-59532 10-in. 3/19/1930 Little Lawrence Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-59533 10-in. 3/19/1930 Harmony blues Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-59643 10-in. 3/20/1930 Fussy Mabel Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-59644 10-in. 3/20/1930 Ponchatrain Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-59735 10-in. 4/3/1930 When they get lovin' they's gone Billie Young Female vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-59736 10-in. 4/3/1930 You done played out blues Billie Young Female vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-62182 10-in. 6/2/1930 Oil well Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-62183 10-in. 6/2/1930 Load of coal Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
(Results 51-75 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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