Jelly Roll Morton: Buddy Bolden's Blues


Buddy Bolden’s Blues


Jelly Roll Morton (piano, vocals)


Last Sessions: The Complete General Recordings (Verve 403)

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Jelly Roll Morton (piano, vocals).

Recorded: New York City, December 16, 1939


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

Who was Buddy Bolden and why do we care what he said? Because Bolden was the trumpeter who, even in Morton’s estimation, merited the status of “legendary.” Mention Bolden’s name and two things generally come up. First, he is alleged to have made some cylinder recordings that have never been traced. The second is that he played with uncommon power. Morton explained to Alan Lomax that, when Bolden was playing a job that had not been well-publicized, Bolden would “take his trumpet and turn it towards the city” and play his signature tune, also known as “I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say.” “The whole town would know that Buddy was there,” continued Morton, “And, in a few seconds, why the park would start to gettin’ filled.”

Reviewer: Rob Bamberger

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