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 151-165 of 165 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Brunswick||C1629-C1630||10-in.||1/21/1928||Midnight mama||Levee Serenaders||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo||leader, lyricist, composer|
|Brunswick||C1631-C1632||10-in.||1/21/1928||Mr. Jelly Lord||Levee Serenaders||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo||leader, composer, lyricist|
|Brunswick||C1654-C1655||10-in.||1/23/1928||Wolverine blues||Benny Goodman's Boys||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||LA92-LA94||10-in.||Jan. 1926||Chicago breakdown||Sonny Clay’s Plantation Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||TC2365||10-in.||9/29/1928||Wolverine blues||Ray Mayer||Piano solo||composer|
|Brunswick||E27638||10-in.||6/4/1928||Jungle blues||Benny Goodman's Boys||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||[Vo cat 1028-a]||10-in.||approximately June 1926||Dead man blues||Alberta Hunter||Female vocal solo, with cornet and piano||composer|
|Edison||9173||10-in.||9/22/1923||The Jelly Roll blues||The Original Memphis Five||Jazz/dance ensemble||composer|
|Edison||11292||10-in.||11/10/1926||Black Bottom stomp||Red and Miff's Stompers||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Edison||11361||10-in.||12/9/1926||Sidewalk blues||Golden Gate Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Edison||11403||10-in.||12/28/1926||Windy City blues (Black Bottom rhythm)||Joe Candullo ; Everglades Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||songwriter|
|Vocalion||E4018-E4019||10-in.||10/28/1926||Milenberg joys||Lethia Hill||Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band||composer|
|Vocalion||399½-401||10-in.||2/20/1925||King Porter stomp||Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Vocalion||665W-666W||10-in.||4/8/1925||Kansas City stomps||Tennessee Tooters||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Vocalion||921W-923W||10-in.||6/23/1925||Milenberg joys||Tennessee Tooters||Jazz/dance band||composer|
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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