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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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The Boys in the Bands
the opinion that it sounded like the rough Negro element. In other words, they had the same kind of feeling that some white people have, who don't understand jazz and don t want to un­derstand it. But, after they heard it so long, they began to creep right close to it and enjoy it. That's why I think this jazz music helps to get this misunderstanding between the races straightened out. You creep in close to hear the music and, automatically, you creep close to the other people. You know?"
Hot blasts from black Bolden's horn and searing arpeggios from light Tio's clarinet burned away the false metal of caste prejudices and fused tan knowledge with black inspiration. These groups had been separated since their revolutionary re­construction days, but the attraction between black people and mulatto was too strong for the dividing lines. When they met again, surmounting age-old fears and prejudices to do so, a flame leapt high into the muggy heavens above Storyville, a flame and a feeling that has made the music of New Orleans important to America and to the world.
Perhaps nothing in human history has spread across the earth so far, so fast, as this New Orleans music. Thirty years after its genesis it was as popular and understandable in New York, Paris, Prague, and Shanghai as in its own hometown. Of course, the phonograph record and other means of rapid communication assisted in the diffusion of jazz, but this cannot explain its triumph over other forms of music, which were also broadcast and recorded. The worldwide impact of an expand­ing American economy undoubtedly lent great (though at times dubious) glamour to jazz in international circles. This, however, would not explain its triumph in America, wThere the plebeian origins of jazz wTere familiar to everyone. Jazz is sen­sual and jazz is African, but so are many other available musical styles which have never gained such widespread acceptance. These were all contributing factors but leave the central mys­tery unaccounted for.
Jazz became many things—frenetic, destructive, hysterical, decadent, venal, alcoholic, saccharine, Lombardish, vapid—it