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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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what he wanted while giving them full credit as creators of their own solos. /Apparently, when the musicians were men whom he could respect, when there was a real bouquet of New Orleans in the studio, Jelly Roll became a great leader.
His records (beginning with his piano roils of 1920 on to his Victor orchestra sessions in 1929) are always ahead of the best records of other musicians of the same years. A clear con­viction emerges from long listening to Jelly Roll Morton—with all his failings and his cliches, he was the most creative and original figure in the golden decade of hot records.
In one important respect, however, Morton fell short of his fellows—he was not moaning the blues, the lost and home­less, the freezing-ground-was-my-folding-bed-last-night-blues— he was not protesting against the way things were run, because within himself he accepted Jim Crow, economic inequality, frustration and his own eternal insecurity as part of the natural order of things. In this one respect he does not belong in the company of great hot jazzmen. He did not feel the blues, be­cause he always refused to admit he was a Negro and that he was lonely. As one of his friends remarked, "Jelly's got no folks and never had. . . . Always said he was too busy to get married."
By the late twenties the golden simoleons began rolling in. His touring Red Hot Pepper Rand played the best colege and hotel dates in the Middle West—one of the first bands managed by the then young but already thriving Music Corporation of America. Victor Records advertised him as the "Number One Hot Rand/' Royalty checks swelled bigger every quarter as if they would never stop growing. Anita was long gone and New Orleans was buried by the avalanche of time. "Good, Hell, you're perfect," those frantic years said to Jelly and to every successful American. Life was a succession of big deals. How big were your diamonds, how thick was your roll, how did the head-waiter treat you? If there were other questions, who should know the answers better than the man leading the jazz band. Night after night, the faces turned toward him, the