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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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about his old-fashioned' music just to get Jelly started, ill never forget Jelly's favorite expression, Tm the master/ he'd say, Tm die master/ And he would tell all the big musicians, 'Listen, fellow, anything you play on your horn, you're playing Jelly Roll!
"Lots of those boys would get hot at that. But, one thing 1 always noticed about Jelly, he could back up everything he said by what he could do. . . !*
A few years later Jelly Roll was calling New York "that cruel city.** The laughter of the young Harlem musicians on the swing kick hurt him cruelly. They intimated that he and his music were "corny/7 He could no longer back his brags with diamonds for the diamonds had disappeared—Mabel thinks in 1930, about the time the Red Hot Peppers broke up. He was he no longer "No. One Victor Jazz Artist." When RCA took over the company in 1980, Jelly tried half-heartedly to enlarge his band; he tried to play big-band swing, but he couldn't bring it off; the records didn't sell; soon Victor showed Jelly the door. The diamond king, the great hot composer, the lord of New Orleans piano was scratching hard for a living on the hardest street in the world, subbing for other piano players who showed up drunk on their jobs, talk­ing up big deals on windy comers, then watching them blow into the gutters with the day's newspapers.
MCA had the best jobs sewed up and they wouldn't have him. ASCAP wouldn't give him a full membership. The goons who then ran the union had threatened to kill him if he didn't keep his mouth shut about things that every member knew went on. The gangsters who operated the big dance mills had promised to rub him out if he didn't stop trying to hire away their star New Orleans side-men. All this Jelly Roll used to pour out in an angry diatribe, followed by even wilder plans for re­venge—he would sue American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers and expose them; he would set up an outfit to rival and to ruin Music Corporation of America; he would ex-