Jelly's Blues: The Life, Music, and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton

Jelly's Blues: The Life, Music, and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton


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Jelly's Blues recounts the tumultuous life of Jelly Roll Morton (ca., 18851941). A virtuoso pianist with a larger-than-life personality, he composed such influential early jazz pieces as "King Porter Stomp" and "New Orleans Blues." However, by the late 1930s, he was nearly forgotten. In 1992, the death of an eccentric memorabilia collector led to the unearthing of a startling archive, revealing Morton to be a much more complex and passionate man than many realized. An especially immediate and visceral look into the jazz worlds of New Orleans and Chicago, Jelly's Blues is a definitive biography, a long overdue look at one of the twentieth century's most important composers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306813504
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication date: 06/01/2004
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 0.72(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Howard Reich is the veteran jazz critic of the Chicago Tribune and the winner of many awards. A longtime correspondent for Downbeat magazine, he is also the author, with William Gaines, of the critically acclaimed biography Jelly's Blues: The Life, Music, and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton. He lives in suburban Chicago. William Gaines retired from the Chicago Tribune in 2001 and is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He lives in Munster, Indiana.

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Jelly's Blues: The Life, Music, And Redemption Of Jelly Roll Morton 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A remarkable book about a remarkable man. Morton's claim to have invented jazz was often dismissed out of hand, especially in view of his early years as an all-around rascal. Reich and Gaines make a good case that's exactly what he did. On the way, they call up the early years of jazz and music recording in all their grittiness, and bring out the courage, creativity - and gentle humanity - in an unlikely pair: Morton, himself, and his last professional friend, an IRS auditor who went into the music publishing business with him. (My copy's subtitled 'The life, music and REDEMPTION of Jelly Roll Morton.') They also manage a healthy swat at two of the biggest cheats in the publishing business. Best read with the right music nearby: King Oliver, Morton with his Red Hot Peppers, and Louis Armstrong's Hot Five, all recorded in the early 20s, most on CD; and, if you can find it, Gunther Schuller's album 'The Road from Ragtime to Jazz'. Check out 'Grandpa's Spells', especially, before and after Morton.