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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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The Family
Colas stared into my face with a frank, country look, then dropped his eyes to the cigarette he was rolling in his big hands. Amede seemed a little pained by him, a little embar­rassed, and yet every gesture of her warm brown face showed her pride in having caught this tall, soft-voiced Cajun from the western parishes. Sometime later on, when she was out of the room, old Colas chuckled over the days when he had been something of a rounder. "You know what she told the woman who come to her with gossip about me? She toF that woman, Well, it's a mighty po' rat ain't got but one hole!'"
We were still laughing when Amede returned. "I called up Uncle Henry and invited him over/' she said. "He's my mama's oldest brother and he can tell you everything about our family. Uncle Henry is awful old, but he gets around, he really gets around." She threw back her head and laughed a liquid, joy-swollen laugh that swept Colas and myself—a couple of inhibited crackers—along with it.
Presently Uncle Henry popped into the door, like Uncle Rat of the ballad, twitching a Velasquez moustache. Spare, trim, quick, with a hawk-like Roman nose and parchment skin, he was the little Mediterranean gentleman who spread Roman law, wine-drinking, and gallantry to the ends of the earth. Uncle Henry was the kind of a feisty old bachelor who would never take his hat off except in church, yet so dignified that the diamond on his finger somehow matched his faded blue work clothes. Here was the proper family chronicler for Mister Jelly Roll.
"I have just attained my seventy-fifth birthday/* said Henry, with comic solemnity, eyes as sharp upon me as if I had been State's Prosecutor, "Rut don't think those boys can get rowdy in my barroom. I handle urn. And some of those guys as tall as the trees they grow in Mississippi . . . feel my strength/' He proferred his arm and his stringy old man's muscle.
"The Pechet family—look at me, I'm a Pechet, but old Mimi there, she was horn Felicie Raudoin. She married in with us— Pierre Pechet, a cigar manufacturer and a real Creole. What