In this case, a song title is a perfect embodiment of a musical endeavor — the Complete Morton Project of David Horniblow (reeds) and Andrew Oliver (piano) — brilliant players and imaginers both. They’ve been astonishingly posting two new performances of Mister Jelly Lord’s music for much of 2018, and I have been happily reposting them here. Read more on Andrew Oliver’s blog.
From doctorjazz.co.uk, with this explication: Mark Miller sends the following pictorial advert for a previously unknown engagement featuring “Jelly Roll” Morton and His World Famous Victor Recording Orchestra at Madison Lake, New York from The Brookfield Courier, dated Wednesday, 26th June 1935, page 4, columns 6—7.
Here’s THAT’S LIKE IT OUGHT TO BE:
On that performance, David plays Barney Bigard’s solo precisely — no easy task. He’s written, “The clarinet player on the original recording is the great Barney Bigard, and his style was so compellingly odd that I’m playing it note-for-note, and on a vintage Albert System Selmer clarinet which is very similar to the instrument he would have played it on. Excessively nerdy I guess.” To which I must respond, “‘Nerdy,’ my Aunt Fanny. ‘Extraordinary’ is more like it.” And Andrew’s playing is explosively fine.
GAMBLING JACK, frolicsome and certainly rare:
Incidentally, deep Mortonians will know this already, but the music you are admiring was often not scored or recorded by piano and clarinet — so these performances are much more ambitious than transcriptions of recorded performances. More from Andrew’s blog about the next two songs here.
LOAD OF COAL (which had the then-young drummer William “Cozy” Cole on the original recording, so I have always thought its title a pun):
As shown by the Gennett label, STRATFORD HUNCH was at first a piano solo, but it lives many lives:
STRATFORD HUNCH became — slightly streamlined — CHICAGO BREAKDOWN, and was recorded by Louis Armstrong in 1927 in a band arrangement that, among other things, omits Morton’s introduction — but features brilliant playing by Louis and Earl Hines.
Since David and Andrew pay Louis’ record homage, I include it here as well. And if anyone thinks Swing didn’t start until 1936, please offer the closing chorus of this recording as refutation:
Back to Mister Jelly for a moment, to comment with admiration that Andrew and David have created twenty-two videos to date, and they intend to keep going until they reach one hundred. What splendid diligence, I say.
May your happiness increase!