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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
Bud Scott, the guitarist who bested Jelly . . . just a musician.
By and large these black Americans were common laborers or service workers. They were not trained musicians, but won their Storyvilie jobs by sheer talent. Creoles who wanted to work in Storyvilie, had to play in bands with them. So for the first time since reconstruction, Creoles were compelled to ac­cept blacks as equals and this was bitter medicine. As the mulatto group had been forced down, it's caste prejudice had mounted. "The mulattoes were actually more prejudiced than the white people at that time," dark-skinned Johnny St. Cyr somberly remarked, and his comment was confirmed every time a Creole opened his mouth. Invariably, in describing someone, a Creole would begin, "He's kind of light brown . . " or, "He's real black, got bad (kinky) hair . . ." or, "He's a real nice-lookin light fellow. ..." A man s pigmentation was his most significant human attribute in New Orleans.
Light-skinned Downtown shared the bandstand with "real black and nappy-headed" Uptown. There was fear and hate on both sides; but jazz demanded cooperation. Jelly RoE, as sporting-house soloist, side-stepped the dilemma. But the stories of other oidtimers demonstrated that this drama of com­petition and collaboration, played against the nightmarish backdrop of Storyville, had wrung their hearts-There was Paul Dominguez, fiddling son of a fiddling father. "Bon sante,w he said, raising his glass to mine.
<cM£ine chose/5 said I. And we suited our actions to our words.
We were in 25^, at the "hot" comer of old-time Storyville, where Iberville crosses Franklin and where, in Jelly RolFs time, blacks and mulattoes first put the heat in hot jazz. The high-class bordellos of Basin Street had been just around the comer—Tom Anderson's and The Pig Ankle across the street^