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Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton ( New Orleans , probably October 20 1890 - Los Angeles ( California ), July 10 1941 ) was an American piano virtuoso , a conductor and one of the first jazz composers . He played a central role in the history of jazz itself and claimed to have invented jazz.

Content  Edit

  • 1 Life
  • 2 Personality
  • 3 Compositions

Life Edit

Jelly Roll Morton was born Ferdinand La Menthe in New Orleans and later he would change both his name and birth date regularly. His father was a trombonist. When these families left his mother remarried with a doorman named Morton.

In his youth Morton played mainly guitar and drums. Some time later he started playing the piano and was taught by Frank Richards. The music he had played in his youth (obviously) not jazz, but rather a mix of popular tunes, rags , waltzes , quadrilles and overtures .

Later he went to work in the glitzy nightclubs of New Orleans, where his money together Moonlights of the tips he received. When his grandmother, however, got wind of the fact that he got his money in this way, she put him out of the house. Destitute, he traveled to Biloxi ( Mississippi ) and moved in with his mother pete.

After this began a period of traveling. Meridien, Gulfport and later the big cities Chicago , St. Louis , New York and Houston were destinations. He also traveled along the West Coast of the United States and would regularly return to New Orleans. It was a time when he was not much music as he could get to the bucket with ease as a pianist. Rather, he was trying to manifest itself as an entrepreneur in shady deals and con man (according to interviews Alan Lomax declined him, see Resources), but had little success.

Around 1923 Morton made a serious start as a musician in Chicago. In the ghetto 's interest was incurred by the new black music. He published his work, and played a number of "piano rolls" in (paper rolls for player pianos). One of his first solo piano recordings from 1923 shows that this is not about strict ragtime.Influences of the new budding jazz style can be heard and the rhythm tends to swing . Between 1926 and 1930 he released several albums, as well as solo piano accompanist. Most recordings released under the band name Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers . Favorite band of Morton from that time wereOmer Simeon ( clarinet ) and George Mitchell ( cornet ). The quality of these recordings was particularly good for that time. The plates Morton launched as a successful jazz artist and bought Cadillacs and diamonds. He signed a contract with the record company Victor , which was arranged for him by his music publishers and musical partners Walter and Lester Melrose.

Mortons music was an eclectic mix of styles and instrumentations. The foundation was the jazz orchestra that played in New Orleans style, albeit Olivers "Creole Jazz Band" or "the New Orleans Rhythm Kings," and this Morton built his own music. In smaller (trio) ensembles came his virtuosity on the piano well forward.

Around 1928, however, hit the Great Depression increasing. Morton was now also overtaken by the new jazz heroes like Louis Armstrong . This was his music not for good, by 1930 sounded the recordings of the "Peppers" not nearly as good as in the beginning. [source?] In early 1930, the record business and Mortons health plunged sharply declined and decreased his popularity. Contemporary jazz musicians what looked scornfully at him and found him an old braggart who felt that everything used to be better. [source?]

Morton was ill. Then in 1940 he became aware that his grandmother in Los Angeles was deceased, he decided to go there for sentimental reasons, in the hope that the warmer climate would do him good. The trip was a disaster: two times he touched with his Cadillac on the road in a snow storm broke and he came to Los Angeles. Another half years he kept it full, but in 1941 he died unnoticed.

Personality Edit

Jelly Roll was Morton (besides a gifted musician) an eccentric, vain man who was also active in the nightlife and nightclub owner, pimp and "pool shark" (someone other pool games players makes money extorted called "hustler"). He was terribly brag about themselves and could other (non-black) (jazz) musicians burn to the ground, but as his friends and acquaintances said he could often able to deliver. [source?]

Clearly, however, is that he did not feel at home within the black community because of its lighter color, often he felt superior to the "niggers" which he described as "troublemakers" labeled. On the other hand, he could hardly bare to be worn. This placed him socially isolated, and many are due megalomaniac and often arrogant attitude to the fact that he never felt accepted in his social and musical environment. [source?]

Compositions Edit

Morton has written dozens of jazz songs, including "Wolverine Blues", "The Pearls", "Mama Nita," "Froggie More," "Black Bottom Stomp," "London Blues," "Sweet Substitute", "Creepy Feeling", "Good Old New York "," Sidewalk Blues, "" Tank Town Bump, "" Kansas City Stop, "" Freakish "," Shake It "," Doctor Jazz Stomp, "" Burnin 'The Iceberg "," Ganjam "," Pacific Rag, "" My Home Is In A Southern Town, "" Turtle Twist, "" Why? "," New Orleans Bump "," Fickle Fay Creep, "" Cracker Man, "" Stratford Hunch "," Shreveport Stomp " "Milneberg Joys," "Red Hot Pepper", "Jungle Blues," "Mint Julep", "Pontchartrain", "Pep", "Someday Sweetheart", "The Finger Buster", "The Crave" and "Grandpa's Spells" "Big Foot Ham" (also known as "Ham & Eggs") 

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