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Oh, Mister Jelly!

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Album Review

This massive 25-track single-disc compilation of work by Jelly Roll Morton was assembled with an ear toward presenting the innovator in all of his periods as well as in many of his settings from soloist to accompanist and bandleader. To that end, Mike Pointon's Oh Mister Jelly! fires on all cylinders. His liner notes give us a solid foundation for his thoughts and why he considered certain selections important even if the choices are not always obvious. Throughout we get Morton playing alone and also leading his trio, his orchestra, his Red Hot Peppers, his New Orleans Jazzmen, and his Jelly Roll Morton Seven to be sure. But there are other moments, including his accompanying Lizzie Miles on "I Hate a Man Like You" and playing with King Oliver, the Levee Serenaders, and Wingy Manone & His Orchestra. The tunes range from obvious selections such as “Mr. Jelly Lord” and “Shreveport Stomp” to “The Chant,” “Winin' Boy Blues,” and “My Home Is a Southern Town.” Given the budget price and sound that ranges from fair to very good, this is a nice little comp to check out as an entry into the world of the man who is said by some to have invented jazz.


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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