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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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Appendix Two
Victor Recording Session of Jelly Roll Morton and his New Orleans Jazzmen, 1:30 p.m., Thursday, September 14, 1939. . . . An oblong room, draped completely with monk's cloth and with strips of the same hanging from the ceiling. Three quarters of the distance into the room a ribbon mike hangs from above—shining, bullet-shaped, small, yet dominating the room. Below it, platforms of various sizes and heights for the musicians. The men on the platforms looked very queer sitting way up there above the others. Claude Jones (trombone) and Sidney de Paris (trumpet) were in back on platforms with Zutty Singleton, his drums muffled with big hunks of mattress, close to the piano. Lawrence Lucie with his guitar stood in the crook of the piano. Next to him on a three-foot platform directly under the mike was Wellman Braud, Jelly's old bass man. Directlv beside and in front of him, under the mike were Happy Cauldwrell (sax), Albert Nicholas (clarinet), and Sidney Bechet (soprano sax).
As you know, Jelly Roll believes in rehearsals before recording dates to be assured the musicians aren't aE over each other's notes in the middle of a master. Sidney could not make the rehearsal, because of his job two hundred miles out of town, but they left plenty of room for his solos. When he did arrive Jelly seemed to know him pretty well and to realize just the proper amount of discipline necessary to get the best work out of him as well as the other members of the band.
Sidney didn't go right over and sit down beside Nicholas. Jelly whispered to us, "I know the two should be together, but they won t like it if I tell them." Sure enough, after the boys had rehearsed a bit, one of the engineers came out and suggested that Bechet and Nicholas stand together on a platform directly under the mike. So it was arranged-.
It's a tough job to keep a bunch of musicians in line during a recording session and they need pulling together by a man they respect and one who knows and loves New Orleans music as Jelly Roll does. Jelly had made whatever loose arrangements were necessary and I would say that the proportion of arrangement to improvising was just