Jelly Roll Morton -- help requested

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Jelly Roll Morton -- help requested

Post  pinhedz on Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:22 pm

= ANDY =

If memory serves me well, Pinhedz is a Jelly Roll Morton - connoisseur.

I was browsing the i-Tunes store when I stumbled upon an 8-part collection called 'The complete Jelly Roll Morton', apparently a series released by Hallmark in 2008.

Each volume is priced a ridiculously low € 4,99 so this looks like a bargain.

According to the info i-Tunes provide this series has been remastered and they claim that it's better than a similar RCA release.
All volumes put together I count 127 tunes - most tunes seem to be represented with various versions.

Because this looks so ridiculously cheap, I wanted to inquire if this really is the bargain it appears to be.


Cook Pass Babtridge

Yes, my local library has the same collection. I've seen it in a few other places as well. I reckon it is indeed the bargain that it appears to be, but as you say... wait for Pinz to answer.

= ANDY =

Jazz records do tend to be quite cheap on i-Tunes, especially when they're by lesser known artists.
But still, cheap collections often tend to be what they appear too: cheap.


Cook Pass Babtridge

Often cheap 'Greatest Hits' CDs don't actually have hardly any of the artists hits. There's nothing better than buying one of these CDs when you're already aware of that fact. They are trying to trick me, but what they don't realise is that I already have all the hits and this mega cheap CD is actually offering me something a little different. HaHa, the jokes on them... the idiots!


pinhedz

I have a Jelly Roll Morton boxed set of 5 CDs on JSP records that has about 100 tracks. I remember that it was a great bargain, with the cost being about $5.00 per disc, but I knew it was not complete. 127 tracks is also not truly complete, but it's close and it sounds like a bargain to me. There are, of course, audiophiles that delight in finding fault with the audio in CD rereleases, but I am not enough of an audiophile to hear the defects they complain about.

Here is something I posted last year for budding Jelly Roll Morton completists:

Jelly Roll Morton (jazz piano and band leader) -- He recorded about 100 numbers with his “Red Hot Chili Peppers” and “Jelly Roll Morton and His Orchestra” between September 1926 and October 1930. But the boxed sets that include that do not include:
-- 20 piano solos recorded in 1923-1924,
-- 25 other recordings with various small groups, including the all-white “New Orleans Rhythm Kings” in 1924, and two duets with king Oliver.
-- An uncredited recording session with Wingy Magnone in 1934 (4 years after he had stopped recording),
-- 13 Piano solos and 12 numbers with his “Hot Seven” in 1939-1940 (this would have been his comeback, had he lived),
-- 2 numbers recorded during his live radio performance a few months later.
And to be really complete, you’d have to have his 12 piano rolls made in 1924-1925 and 13 hours of tapes recorded with Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1938 (there are 4 CDs of the music from these tapes in print).


= ANDY =

I also read about those Library of Congress recording by Alan Lomax, i-Tunes sells them for € 89,99 and amazon charges even € 10,00 more if I remember correctly.
Since they're quite expensive and - if I understand correctly - also contain a bunch of interviews I suppose they are for completists ... ?

pinhedz

I believe Lomax recorded about 13 hours with Jelly Roll Morton, playing piano and talking, and Rounder Records has released 4 CDs of mostly music from those tapes. Some of it is wonderful, and you might want it eventually, but I'd say get the boxed set now and decide later if you want to be a completist.

I read that Jelly Roll Morton had a "complete" collection of his own recordings when he died, and it consisted of about 65 discs (130 tracks).

Tom Lord's big jazz discography lists 69 recordings (138 tracks).

Since your boxed set include alternate takes, that would mean it's a combination of released and unreleased recordings (my 5-CD box is also like that).


= ANDY =

I'm downloading volume 1 right now.
Listening to the first track I must say I'm quite litteraly shocked about how fresh and clear this sounds.
You hear the cracks that are inevitable with recordings that age.
But music sound really nice! If the rest of the tracks are like the first one, than this box is at leas worh its money for the wonderful sound it gives.


pinhedz

Jazz piano man Billie Taylor met Jelly Roll Morton in Washington DC in 1937, and later played him on TV, and he's still alive and performing [update 2011--I believe he died recently]:




pinhedz

This is what Rubin Gonzalez was saying about that "Habanera music" by Jelly Roll Morton:




pinhedz

With the left hand playing the Habanera rhythm instead of a march, that number is closer to Gottschalk than to Scot Joplin.

Alan Lomax asked Morton if New Orleans pianists played Gottschalk. He said "Yes, but I was very young at the time."


John McLaughlin

My theme tune for "Roots & Wings" is Dave Van Ronk's fingerpicking guitar rearrangement of the Jelly Roll Morton piano rag by that name. Van Ronk says that when he re-arranged it for guitar, he lost a measure, and every time he played it he couldn't find that measure, and every tim he played it and couldn't find that measure, he said to himself, "Damn, Van Ronk - you're not a musician - you're a folkie!"


pinhedz

John McLaughlin wrote:... and every time he played it he couldn't find that measure, and every tim he played it and couldn't find that measure, ...
That might be the measure that has 5 notes equally spaced over 2 beats.


= ANDY =

I totally dig Van Ronk's sense of humour.
Spending a night in a bar with Dave, no doubt, must have been a great thrill.
I like how he, unlike Dylan, seems to have kept the Mensch in himself before anything else.

Jelly Roll Morton is great too, btw.

pinhedz
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Re: Jelly Roll Morton -- help requested

Post  pinhedz on Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:32 pm

For a long time I couldn't find any recordings of this on the web--Jelly Roll Morton's last composition, which he never got to record:


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Re: Jelly Roll Morton -- help requested

Post  pinhedz on Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:42 am

^
Some might say (and they can explain why they might say) that it's ironic how Jelly's last jam sounds so much like Duke Ellington. Suspect

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Re: Jelly Roll Morton -- help requested

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