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 126-150 of 165 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|OKeh||S-7809||10-in.||Mar. 1921||Jelly Roll blues||Norfolk Jazz Quartet||Male vocal quartet, unaccompanied||composer|
|OKeh||8498||10-in.||Oct. 1923||Some day, sweetheart||Jelly Roll Morton's Jazz Band||Jazz/dance band||leader|
|OKeh||8499||10-in.||Oct. 1923||London blues||Jelly Roll Morton's Jazz Band||Jazz/dance band||leader, composer|
|OKeh||9019||10-in.||Mar. 1925||King Porter stomp||Charles Creath's Jazz-O-Maniacs||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||9429||10-in.||Nov. 1925||Grandpa's spell||Charles Creath's Jazz-O-Maniacs||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||9661||10-in.||5/12/1926||Soap suds||St. Louis Levee Band||Jazz/dance band||leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|OKeh||9662||Not documented||5/12/1926||[Unknown title(s)]||St. Louis Levee Band||Jazz/dance band||leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|OKeh||S-71606||10-in.||June 1923||Wolverine blues||Harry Raderman's Jazz Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||W80848||10-in.||5/7/1927||Wild man blues||Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven||Jazz/dance ensemble||composer|
|OKeh||W80851||10-in.||5/9/1927||Chicago breakdown||Louis Armstrong ; Earl Hines ; Hot Seven||Jazz/dance ensemble||composer|
|Brunswick||10906-10908||10-in.||6/21/1923||Wolverine blues||Gene Rodemich’s Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||E16189-E16191||10-in.||8/21/1925||Milenberg joys||Cotton Pickers||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||C1994||10-in.||5/26/1928||Sweetheart o’ mine||Frank Sylvano||Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||C2156||10-in.||7/28/1928||Milenberg joys||Lil Hardaway Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with vocal||composer|
|Brunswick||C2336||10-in.||9/22/1928||Milenberg joys||Lil Hardaway Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with vocal||composer|
|Brunswick||C160-C161||10-in.||4/20/1926||The pearls||Jelly Roll Morton||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|Brunswick||C162-C163||10-in.||4/20/1926||Sweetheart o’ mine||Jelly Roll Morton||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|Brunswick||C164-C165||10-in.||4/20/1926||Fat meat and greens||Jelly Roll Morton||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Brunswick||C166-C167||10-in.||4/20/1926||King Porter stomp||Jelly Roll Morton||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|Brunswick||C514-C515||10-in.||7/21/1926||Dead man blues||Edmonia Henderson||Female vocal solo, with instrumental trio||composer|
|Brunswick||C658-C659||10-in.||9/17/1926||Dead man blues||Dixie Syncopators ; King Oliver||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||C701-C702||10-in.||2/23/1927||Milenberg joys||Rodney Rogers’ Red Peppers||Guitar trio, with vocal||composer|
|Brunswick||C796-C797||10-in.||4/22/1927||Wild man blues||Black Bottom Stompers ; Johnny Dodds||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||C1316-C1319||10-in.||10/14/1927||Milenberg joys||Rodney Rogers’ Red Peppers||String band, with vocal||composer|
|Brunswick||C1422-C1423||10-in.||1/10/1928||Milenberg joys||Husk O'Hare's Wolverines||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||songwriter|
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
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