Jelly Roll Morton: King Porter Stomp (solo piano, 1939)


King Porter Stomp



Last Sessions: The Complete General Recordings (Verve 403)

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Jelly Roll Morton (piano).

Composed by Jelly Roll Morton


Recorded: New York City, December 14, 1939


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

It’s difficult to imagine Jelly Roll Morton and the City of New York sitting down together over a glass of beer. Their respective musical outlooks never charted the same course. Yet, in late 1939, his optimism renewed, Morton made one last assault on the burg he once described as “that cruel city.” Morton made a fresh recording of his “King Porter Stomp” that has a free and unfettered joie de vivre. Named for Porter King, a pianist Morton met in his travels, Jelly Roll dated its origin to 1906. The composition had been a hit for Benny Goodman and served as a major anthem in the launch of the Swing Era four years earlier, but Morton’s inflexibility and grandiosity had not endeared him to the new generation of musicians, and he watched from the sidelines.

Reviewer: Rob Bamberger

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