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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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"How many they killed that night never has been told, but it was many a one. They claim the police was trying to stop the mob, but fact was the police were worse than the others. These rebels, my boy, are different . . . I The national guard, nothing but a bunch of kids. When the mob came this way, they run the other. This thing went on about two days, until old man Baldwin—own the hardware store—told them he was going to arm the colored and that word stop them cold.
"Next day I found out my daddy was missing. Somebody said rd better go on down to the hospital—it was full of folks all crippled and shot up. One of the sisters there told me a man had been brought in at two a.m. in very bad condition and had died about sun-up. Nobody knew him. When they showed him to me, I knew him. It was my daddy. They had snatched him off his meat-wagon down at the French market and killed him.
"Was I angry about it? Well, sure, sure I was. But what could I do?" Old Nelson made a sweeping gesture with his hands, palms up. "It just wash away. It all just wash away." He sighed, "Couple of days after my daddy was killed, I was back there at 25's playing harder than ever."
Louis paused and then half to himself, "They claims I'm the first hot clarinet."
"The first hot clarinet" went on to confirm Jelly's analysis of jazz, in fact Louis stated his theory of syncopation, harmony, and tempo in almost the same words that Jelly had used. Yet there was a profound difference in emphasis that corresponded exactly to their contrasting feeling about the Robert Charles riot—Jelly thought like a mulatto, Louis like a black.
"Jazz," said old Louis, "Jazz is all head music." He raised himself up on his elbows to get a better purchase on his re­marks. "Some player don't know a note as big as this house, he have an idea—he don't know—it Mnda sound a little good to him and somebody takes a fancy to that idea and writes it down. That's how riffs come about. You must handle your tone.