Last Sessions: The Complete General Recordings
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This CD contains Jelly Roll Morton's final studio recordings (the only existing later performances by Morton are a couple of tunes from a radio broadcast) and supercedes an earlier two-LP Atlantic set. The main reason to acquire this 1997 CD is Morton's 13 classic piano solos, which include five vocals, his first on record other than the much earlier "Dr. Jazz" and the Library of Congress sides. Only ten of the solos were originally released, so this is a very complete reissue. Morton, despite ailing health, was in very good form for the sessions, and his versions of "The Crave," "King Porter Stomp," "Winin' Boy Blues," "Buddy Bolden Blues" and "Don't You Leave Me Here" are quite memorable. In addition, he is heard heading three band dates that, despite the presence of trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen and clarinetist Albert Nicholas, do not quite live up to their potential. They did introduce Jelly Roll's "Sweet Substitute" (a future standard) and include a hot rendition of "Panama," but such songs as "Get the Bucket" and "Mama's Got a Baby" have not been revived since. Still, this set is highly recommended for the solo performances, Jelly Roll Morton's final contribution to the music he claimed to have founded.
Born: October 20, 1890 in New Orleans, LA
Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s