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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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It Like to Broke My Heart
and his stubby comet under his elbow, Gypsv Schaeffer in her notoriety diamonds, Aaron Harris and Boar Hog in their box-back coats and Stetsons, Bad Sam and Benny Frenehy, King Porter and Scott Joplin, Stavin Chain and Clark Wade* Albert Cahill and Tony Jackson, a company of young octaroons whispering "Look yonder at Winding Boy"—all these ghosts leaned forward to listen to .Morton tell their story. And in the front now sat big Ed La Menthe, holding a battered slide-trombone and smiling like he owned the joint. . . .
The next days passed like Mardi Gras. At that time no prece­dents or red tape bound the infant Folksong Archive. Mister Jelly Roll came to the Library almost every afternoon, driving his Lincoln and finding every visit the occasion for a new, though always conservative, outfit. All this was front for Jelly, I began to perceive, and very thin front, too, for he was at the end of his resources. These sessions were important to him. He was renewing his self-confidence as he relived his rich and creative past for a sympathetic audience that didn't interrupt; he was putting his world in order; but, much more to the point. New Orleans and her boy, Jelly, were getting their hearing at the bar of history itself.
Morton was very polite and kind to me. Although Creole folklore and the street-songs of New Orleans were not in the forefront of his mind, he obligingly recalled them. He per­formed blues that reminded him unpleasantly of environments where the Ice had crawled along his collar. Protesting that the blues were lowdown, illiterate" music, he nevertheless moaned the blues by the hour, ladling down the cheap whiskey I could afford to buy, warming up his dust)' vocal chords and discovering in himself a singing style as rich as Louis Arm­strong's. He recreated the piano styles of ivory wizards a gen­eration dead, recreations which turn out to match the exact sound of the old piano rolls. To every query his responses were so instant and so vivid with time and place and who was there and what they said that I knew Jelly was seeing it in