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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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The Family
on nearly every corner. These little establishments are flanked by rows of one-storey houses, each joined to its neighbor and abutting directly on the sidewalk. Most of these little houses are unpainted and have grown gray with years of weathering. The two front windows are almost always shuttered and the front door is likewise hooded with shutters. At first one feels lonely there, shut in by this blind and shuttered gray wall. Then delicate strokes of fancy and love begin to stand out, silver against gray.
The wooden stoops bear worn hollows for familiar feet. The lintels above the doorways are strung with faded gray pearls. Up along the cornices of the single gables the eye follows the pleasant and rather silly music of scrolls and flowers and acan­thus leaves sawn into the wood. Below, at the level of the side­walk, the shallow cellars breathe street air through delicate medallions of wrought iron. Each house is slightly different in such details and, as one notices these tracings of old-time craftsmen, the blocks of humble and narrow houses take on a distinguished look—decorous rows of weatherbeaten and im­poverished old ladies of good family, wearing stained lace fichus and bending with age toward the dusty street.
The house on St. Antoine Street, where Jelly Roll's sister lived, leaned gently against its neighbors, but indoors, behind the shutters, where the air was cool and the light was dim, the parlor still had a certain elegance. Amede Colas was neither faded nor decadent. Her smile was warmer than Jelly Roll's and in repose her face was not withdrawn and cold like his, but tender and animated. What secrets belonged to this lady, she enjoyed.
She busied about the high-ceilinged room, turning up the lights to show off the family portraits. "That's my daughter who lives in California, Mister Lomax. She could pass any time she want to but she think too well of herself," Amede said with no irony intended. "My girl look like Mama and Mimi yon­der/' Among the three handsome octoroons in the tinted en­largements on the wall it was quite easy to pick out Mimi—the