13. "Jelly Roll" Morton - Jazz Walk of Fame

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"Jelly Roll" Morton (1890 - 1941)

Born into a Creole household as Ferdinand Joseph Lamont, pianist, band leader, and songwriter Jelly Roll Morton was the first great composer in the history of jazz known for pieces such as “The Pearls”, “King Porter Stomp”, and “The Jelly Roll Blues”. Morton led a life of musical discovery, traveling to Washington, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles before beginning his recording career in the Windy City in 1923. The recordings he made there with his Red hot Peppers from 1926 to 1928 are some of the best examples of collectively improvised New Orleans Jazz and remain unsurpassed in their brilliance & variety. Jelly Roll Morton participated in the first important interracial recording session, composing and play “Milenberg Joys” with members of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings for the Gennett label in Richmond, Indiana in July 1923. In 1938 Jelly Roll Morton was interviewed by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress, documenting his life story and his role in the development of jazz.

  • <p>Photograph of Jelly Roll Morton in his teenaged years. According to jazz historian William Russell, may be earliest known photo of Morton, showing him at about age 17, about 1906. circa 1906 ? Early 20th century portrait photograph, scanned from reprint in book "Oh, Mister Jelly" by William Russell, JazzMedia Aps, 1999. Photographer not credited. Public Domain.</p>
  • <p>Photograph of musicians and entertainers in Los Angeles, California, at the Cadillac Club, c. 1917 or 1918. From left to right, "Common Sence" Ross, Albertine Pickins, Ferd "Jelly Roll" Morton, Ada "Bricktop" Smith, Eddie Rucker, Mabel Watts. 1917 or 1918. Photograph from 1917 or 1918, scanned from reprint in book "Oh, Mister Jelly" by William Russell, JazzMedia Aps, 1999. Public domain.</p>
  • <p>Jelly Roll Morton. Still captured from video above.</p>
  • <p>Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers. Still captured from video above.</p>
  • <p>Jazz Man Records 78 label by Jelly Roll Morton, for the piano solo, "Finger Buster", recorded in 1938. December 1942. Self-scan from original Jazz Man Records 78 label. Jazz Man Records, "co-sponsored by Nesuhi Ertegun". Public domain.</p>
  • <p>Sheet music cover: The 'Jelly Roll' Blues, by Ferd Morton. 1915. JELLY ROLL MORTON - ON THE ROAD. Retrieved on 2007-10-22. Publisher: Will Rossiter. Public domain.</p>