M. JELLY ROLL by Alan Lomax


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As told to Alan Lomax of the Library of Congree, this is the story of Jelly Roll Morton who called himself the ""originator of jazz, stomps and swings"" and who certainly absorbed the complex currents of the music of New Orleans- evolved a system of music which was famous in its day the '20's. Creole born, and strongly caste conscious, Jelly Roll was the product of that high colored, high living world of bordellos and gambling houses, sports and sweet mamas. Playing all night, practising all day, Jelly Roll wandered from New Orleans to Mobile to St. Louis to Chicago to California, where for the first time he had ""plenty clothes, plenty diamonds"" (pinned to his underwear), went back to Chicago during the heyday of New Orleans jazz where for the first time his music was recorded. But with the '30's there was the eclipse of his music- and his appeal- against which his belligerence and braggadocio was importent, and he died, almost forgotten, on the coast...His story, in his own words, sustains the particular quality of the man, contributes to the authentication and preservation of a style in and stylist of American music.

Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Peare