In the Nineteen-Forties, when “traditional jazz” was once again greeted with enthusiasm, small illicit record labels looked to make money off the demand for music not otherwise available, and many pirated music that the major labels were not reissuing. Often the label names were official-sounding; sometimes hilarious. I’ve included a few samples here.
One bootleg pressing of Jelly Roll Morton’s music (I believe on the “XX” label) had as artist credit TREMENDOUS OLD JELLY. When I looked online for this artist credit, I was greeted with pictures of royal jelly, fruit preserves, and more.
It would have been a fine title for this blogpost, except for one thing: pianist Andrew Oliver and reedman David Horniblow, both tremendously talented, make new music, and they’ve been sharing their duets every week. And here, on Andrew’s blog, all manner of delicious secrets will be revealed. For one: what popular song, written two years after SWEET PETER, owes some of its melodic shape to Morton? (Thanks to Professor James Dapogny for recognizing the lineage.)
David and Andrew plan to perform all 107 Morton compositions, and I have no doubt they will reach the summit of that wondrous mountain. Here are the four most recent.
FREAKISH (no doubt named for its unusual harmonies):
SWEET PETER, rarely played but irresistible:
A truly joyous KANSAS CITY STOMPS:
Finally, a deliciously sauntering DEAD MAN BLUES:
These two young men are deliciously adept, aren’t they? See and hear all twelve performances to date here.
May your happiness increase!