Jelly Roll Morton: Mamie's Blues
Mamie’s Blues [aka 2:19 Blues]
Jelly Roll Morton (piano, vocals)
Last Sessions: The Complete General Recordings (Verve 403)
Jelly Roll Morton (piano, vocals).
Recorded: New York City, December 16, 1939
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
“Mamie’s Blues” comes from a series of recordings Morton made for the General label, later acquired by Commodore, and issued in a multi-pocket album of 78s titled New Orleans Memories. Had these sessions yielded only “Mamie’s Blues,” we could consider ourselves blessed. As Morton recalls Mamie Desdumes, we may not be able to see the pictures inside the musician’s head, but we bear witness as Morton combs his memory for three perfect minutes. It is one of the unforgettable experiences in jazz discography. Morton’s narrative phrases and chording complement one another rhythmically. One does not frame the other; instead, they are sublimely joined. Morton’s foot can be heard quietly tapping, setting off his exquisite use of space as both singer and pianist.
Reviewer: Rob Bamberger
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A History of New Orleans Music in 100 Tracks edited by Ted Gioia