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The Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax

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Album Review

Jelly Roll Morton's 1938 Library of Congress Recordings have been issued and reissued by various labels since the monumental Riverside LP edition of 1955. In what might be seen as a 50th anniversary celebration, the folks at Rounder Records decided to haul off and reintroduce this material to the public in the year 2005 with a mammoth tribute package of unprecedented completeness. While that heavily documented, digitally enhanced eight-disc set is highly recommended for anyone who can afford it, Rounder's single CD compendium is an essential sampler that may serve as the ideal introduction to Jelly Roll Morton, and to jazz itself. The balanced ratio of songs and piano solos to stories and narration is perfectly maintained. Accessible, entertaining, informative and affordable, this marvelous artifact should be considered essential listening for anyone interested in music, life, history and human nature.


Born: October 20, 1890 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s

One of the very first giants of jazz, Jelly Roll Morton did himself a lot of harm posthumously by exaggerating his worth, claiming to have invented jazz in 1902. Morton's accomplishments as an early innovator are so vast that he did not really need to stretch the truth. Morton was jazz's first great composer, writing such songs as "King Porter Stomp," "Grandpa's Spells," "Wolverine Blues," "The Pearls," "Mr. Jelly Roll," "Shreveport Stomp," "Milenburg Joys," "Black Bottom Stomp," "The Chant," "Original...
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The Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax, Jelly Roll Morton
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