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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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Appendix Twm
Even today hot jazz is an aurally transmitted music. For more than half a century players and orchestras have learned from each other by ear and then made their own transforma­tion of the rhythmic and harmonic material. Only recently have written arrangements intervened and then almost always the music has suffered. The shining exception was Morton s music. His scores were superb transcriptions of the free poly­phonic style of New Orleans. Even so, without phonograph records, some of his music would have been lost to us, because much of it was worked out in the studio in collaboration with the virtuosos of his orchestras. Luckily, Morton was as fine an organizer and band leader as he was composer and so a fairly complete notion of his music exists on records. The high level of these records is indicated in the appreciations of the critics:
"Just as 1 would recommend one specific record by Jelly Roll Morton as being representative of jazz, to the new­comer, so I would recommend Jelly Roll's work in its en­tirety to those who have already been captivated by jazz. There is no more enlightening collection of records to be found under the name of one man. Not all of the records are good, but they are of great variety and they illustrate jazz development and tendencies. Through all of them, like a golden thread, runs the insistent beat of Jelly Roll's uncompromising, incomparable piano."
—S. F. Dunce, Jazz Music, London, 1944.