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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 76-100 of 164 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-62184 10-in. 6/2/1930 Crazy chords Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-62185 10-in. 6/2/1930 Primrose stomp Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-62188 10-in. 6/3/1930 Big time woman Wilton Crawley Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with clarinet solo and male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-62189 10-in. 6/3/1930 I'm her papa, she's my mama Wilton Crawley ; Washboard Rhythm Kings Clarinet solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-62190 10-in. 6/3/1930 New Crawley blues Wilton Crawley ; Washboard Rhythm Kings Clarinet solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-62191 10-in. 6/3/1930 She saves her sweetest smiles for me Wilton Crawley Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-62339 10-in. 7/14/1930 Low gravy Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-62340 10-in. 7/14/1930 Strokin' away Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-62341 10-in. 7/14/1930 Blue blood blues Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-62342 10-in. 7/14/1930 Mushmouth shuffle Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-64313 10-in. 10/9/1930 Gambling Jack Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-64314 10-in. 10/9/1930 Fickle Fay creep Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BSHQ-73181 10-in. 8/9/1932 Milenberg joys Rhythm Boys Vocal and instrumental quartet composer  
Victor BS-92547 10-in. 7/1/1935 King Porter Benny Goodman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-010210 10-in. 5/17/1937 King Porter stomp Teddy Hill NBC Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-014080 10-in. 9/12/1937 Corrido del tigre Marimba "Palma de Oro" Marimba band composer  
Victor BS-018108 10-in. 1/5/1938 Wolverine blues Larry Clinton Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor PBS-019410 10-in. 7/7/1938 Wolverine blues Freddy Martin Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor PBS-019411 10-in. 7/7/1938 Milenberg joys Freddy Martin Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Victor BS-024066 10-in. 7/21/1938 Shoe shiner's drag Lionel Hampton Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-024426 10-in. 8/1/1938 Milenberg joys Larry Clinton Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-026680 10-in. 8/30/1938 Wolverine blues Bluebird Military Band Instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor BS-026860 10-in. 9/12/1938 King Porter stomp Erskine Hawkins Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-027413 10-in. 9/27/1938 King Porter stomp Glenn Miller Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-030302 10-in. 11/22/1938 Jelly-roll blues Bunny Berigan Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
(Results 76-100 of 164 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Morton, Jelly Roll," accessed June 20, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101896.

Morton, Jelly Roll. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 20, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101896.

"Morton, Jelly Roll." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 20 June 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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