Jelly Roll Morton: Doctor Jazz
Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers
The Jelly Roll Morton Centennial --- His Complete Victor Recordings (RCA 078635236125)
Composed by Jelly Roll Morton.
Recorded: Chicago, December 16, 1926
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Morton sometimes worked as an entertainer during his nomadic years, and fancied himself a great comic. But the sketch openings on a few of his records reveal that Morton’s sense of humor was devoid of subtlety for anything but a tent show audience. Morton’s inability to outgrow the conventions of early twentieth-century vaudeville account in part for the lack of common ground between Morton and the new generation of swing musicians in New York during the 1930s. However, as a singer and raconteur, Morton was nonpareil, as he is on “Dr. Jazz.” Jelly’s elongated “Well” at the start of his vocal (more like “Wal-l-l-l-llll”) sounds like a cicada with strep and draws us right to the side of ‘ole Dr. Jazz.
Reviewer: Rob Bamberger
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