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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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of Negro jazz like Goodman and Shaw ended up with the best jobs in hot jazz. This is doubtless an ironic end for good in­tentions since both men stood for mixed bands and against discrimination when such a stand was dangerous, but then old Mister Jim Crow is a past master at irony.
Jelly Roll's whole life was constructed around his denial of hislMegro status. He was a mulatto, a New Orleans man, a higher-up, a Number One recording artist, but not quite a Negro. Of course this is typical of New Orleans Creoles. Even a younger man, Omer Simeon, the clarinetist, expressed only mild indignation over the operation of Jim Crow in music . . .
"From what i hear—in his pleasant and husky voice—"col­ored bands used to play at the Waldorf-Astoria and all the biggest hotels in New York, but then they began to cut that out. I never did figure it out, but I imagine there's prejudice involved. It came more from the proprietor than the public, though. At least, that's what I believe.9*
Jelly Roll's grandmother, Mimi Pechet, kept her job with the Solaris by being "nice" and being strict with her children; and her grandson, Jelly Roll, could interpret the closing of the Waldorf to his band in only one way—"the niggers acting rowdy/' He took out his increasing hysteria on his fellow musicians in Harlem.
"I always called him the Dizzy Dean of Music, he was so belligerent and braggadocio," commented Simeon mildly. "He was a real fanatic over the music. He wanted real New Orleans style and he wanted it played just so. So the boys figured him for a radical. Different arguments came up. And, by him being one of the pioneers of jazz, he'd come right back at them when they disagreed with him. WeU, they felt they was as big as he was—those that had been in music any length of time—and so, naturally, he had a hard time keeping the same personnel.
"It was really a show when Jelly got in an argument,9* Simeon chuckled. "We used to all be standing around the Fa­mous Corner at 131st and Seventh and Jelly would be telling what a great composer he was. So Chick Webb would kid him