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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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how it come about. 1 was carrying my violin and when the cops stopped me i told them I was taking the fiddle to my daddy. So I pass right on. Charley Paytons * band was play­ing at 25's. I stop and listen.
"Jesus, that man could make some pretty music. He wasn't no humbug musician. He come from Alabama, made and played all the string instruments. He'd holler 'follow me' and his bunch would rip out one of those old quadrilles which in­duce so much lively jazz. And he could play the Anniversary Song so the tears would run right out of your eyes.
"Well, I stood there and listen at Payton on that corjun. He say, 'Come in, son/ but I was afraid and I told him, 1 ain't comin in, but I can play the corjun you got.' He say, 'Come on in and try her.' That way he entice me in. I couldn't make it on that corjun the first time, but I kept comin back till I got so I could fool with it. One of them old musicians passed me off as his son, used to tell the cops, That's my boy/
"Pretty soon I had me a job with Payton—he was the man brought Bolden in there, too. I learned clarinet from Papa Tio's son, Lorenzo, and I played on in the District till they closed it down in 1916, played with every band you ever heard of and some you haven't.
" 'Course, my people didn't know what I was doing till I was making too much money for them to stop me. They needed me to bring home that money. My papa hadn't been doing so well in his butcher trade. He was just holding on, and we were right poor. I felt like helping him out, because Papa had always been good to me. He hadn't never told me to leave my music and look for a trade. So they never ask me where the money came from and I never told them much."
"Some of our Creole boys didn't have my opportunity; their families wouldn't stand for them in the District. Take Manuel Perez—one of the toughest comets we ever had, a sight reader and a horse for work—well, his people was very, very up to the minute, running back and forth to the church. A little bit of
* Jelly mentions Payton as one of the pioneer "had bands/9