Jelly Roll Morton: Deep Creek


Deep Creek



The Jelly Roll Morton Centennial --- His Complete Victor Recordings (RCA 078635236125)

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Jelly Roll Morton (piano), Russell Procope (clarinet, alto sax),

Edward Anderson, Edwin Swayze (trumpets); William G. Kato (trombone); Paul Barnes (soprano sax); Joe Garland (tenor sax); Lee Blair (guitar); William Moore (brass bass); Manzie Johnson (drums)


Recorded: New York City, December 6, 1928


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

Once he was in New York, Morton’s recording ensembles grew in size. Single instruments gave way to sections. “Deep Creek” was not attributed to the Red Hot Peppers, but to “Jelly-Roll Morton and his Orchestra.” This piece might not be a consensus pick for inclusion in a list of Morton recordings pared to a dozen, but it’s a blues so unhurried and inspired in its use of space that it leaves one mesmerized and stunned by record’s end. It’s unusual for Morton to commit so much of a performance to individual solos, but Morton uses the resources of the ensemble to provide a deep and rich organ-like background that persists until his final floating chord.

Reviewer: Rob Bamberger

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