MISTER JELLY ROLL

Jelly Roll Morton, Inventor Of Jazz, Online Book by Alan Lomax

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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62
STORYV1LLE
jazz. Hot means something spicy. Ragtime is a certain type of syncopation and only certain tunes can be played in that idea. But jazz is a style that can be applied to any type of tune. I started using the word in 1902 to show people the difference between jazz and ragtime.
Jazz music came from New Orleans and New Orleans was inhabited with maybe every race on the face of the globe and, of course, plenty of French people. Many of the earliest tunes in New Orleans was from French origin. I m telling you when they started playing this little thing they would really whoop it up—everybody got hot and threw their hats away. . . .
C'ete 'n auf can-can, paye done, C'ete *n auf can-can, paye done. . . .*
Then we had Spanish people there. I heard a lot of Spanish tunes and I tried to play them in correct tempo, but I personally didn't believe they were really perfected in the tempos. Now take La Paloma, which I transformed in New Orleans style. You leave the left hand just the same. The difference comes in the right hand—in the syncopation, which gives it an entirely different color that really changes the color from red to blue.
Now in one of my earliest tunes, New Orleans Blues, you can notice the Spanish tinge. In fact, if you can't manage to put tinges of Spanish in your tunes, you will never be able to get the right seasoning, I call it, for jazz. This New Orleans Blues comes from around 1902. I wrote it with the help of Frank Richards, a great piano player in the ragtime style. All the bands in the city played it at that time.
Most of these ragtime guys, especially those that couldn't play very well, would have the inspiration they were doing okay if they kept increasing the tempo during a piece.** I
* Various ways to translate this: Can-can—cucumber—the dance of that name —gossip. Paye—pay—shut up. Tune 7, Appendix II. "There seems to be a vulgar meaning which I never understood," said Jelly Roll.
** Which is a West African way of doing things. Here Jelly imposes the European metronome idea of tempo upon the more fluid African idea of fceat, just as he imposed rigid and intricate European harmony upon a simpler folk pattern.








E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III