“HOTTER THAN THE DEVIL’S KITCHEN”

Simmer 2009 006jelly 14 july 1927 ad

The advertisement above comes from July 1927, and it speaks for itself, euphorically. 

Here are three photographs taken at Jelly Roll Morton’s 1939 Victor date.  Their source is an incomparable UK jazz site which offers more information about Morton than you would encounter elsewhere: http://www.doctorjazz.co.uk.

jelly1939 1

I see Sidney DeParis (trumpet), Zutty Singleton (drums), half of a trombonist (Claude Jones?), Morton at the piano, Bernard Addison (guitar), and a singularly wonderful reed section of Sidney Bechet (soprano), Albert Nicholas (clarinet), and Happy Caldwell (tenor).

jelly1939 2

Here’s one I hadn’t seen before — Jelly with two music lovers who would go on to create jazz treasures: young Harry Lim (left) who would begin the majestic series of Keynote recordings in a few years, and Steve Smith, whose HRS Records would feature Bechet, Muggsy Spanier, Joe Thomas, Johnny Hodges, and other bright lights.

In the photo below, I imagine Harry Lim thinking, “This looks like fun.  I could do this, too!”  As he did.   jelly1939 3

All of this pleasant rumination was sparked by a purchase I made yesterday in an antiques / collectables store on Warren Street in Hudson, New York, that has mountains of records for sale — mostly Fifties and Sixties rock and pop, but there are the vestiges of a large jazz vinyl collection.  Most of it appeals to me for sentimental reasons: “I had that record,” goes through my mind as I flip through the browsers.  But I encountered a half-dozen 78s — a Kenton Capitol, Ellington’s Victor I GOT IT BAD / THE CHOCOLATE SHAKE, two of the red-label Columbia Bessie Smith reissues, and this beauty, close to mint condition:

Tomatoes  Jelly Roll 003

“Dance Orchestra,” if you needed to be told.

Tomatoes  Jelly Roll 004

The records aren’t expensive, so there was never a question in my mind about taking this one home.  When I finished looking at the records (there are always more than I can bear to go through), I walked towards the friendly woman proprietor, who saw what she was dealing with — a happy man trying to keep his pleasure within bounds — and she grinned, “YOU’VE found a treasure, haven’t you?!”  I assume that my emotions showed on my face. 

And, just to show how everything connects, at the top of the page is a genuine Red Hot Pepper that the Beloved grew in her extraordinarily bountiful container garden.  “Hotter than the Devil’s kitchen” describes the experience of eating it most precisely.

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5 responses to ““HOTTER THAN THE DEVIL’S KITCHEN”

  1. Pingback: “HOTTER THAN THE DEVIL’S KITCHEN”

  2. Hi –
    A friend is trying to subscribe, but the
    Subscribe button won’t work.
    What to do?

  3. Dear Rae Ann, So happy to make your acquaintance even in this cyber-crisis, and to thank you once again for all those neat SF videos of people I admire. Now to business: the front page of this blog has two places that announce, in capital letters, that one can subscribe here. The top one, above the calendar, is for email; the bottom one, at the very base of the front page, is for RSS. In both cases, the capital letters are simply an announcement, and your friend can click on them until Doomsday, or until 78 rpm records return . . . you get the idea. Below the email announcement is a line of blue hyperlink; that works; I tried it before writing to you. And for RSS (which I prefer) there is a tiny square box under the announcement (not the one with an X in it, but to the right and below): that one works, too. Cheers and thanks, Michael
    P.S. Let me know if it doesn’t work! Or, preferably, when it does . . . .

  4. Oh Beloved HMV !! Made my evening just looking at them. Can you play them so we can hear them on Jazz Lives? OR – did I hear you once say that you couldn’t? Because theoretically us engineers know stuff. Or in this case know someone who does. It ought to be doable and then I would stop pining to hear those sides…sam p (ought to be able to put them on mp3 and figure a link).

  5. Check the Red Hot Jazz site — they may have downloaded the 1939 Victors. Or remind me in September and I will make some CD copies for you. The Brits knew and know how to make things pretty, don’t they, now? Cheers! JL or MS, you pick – – –

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