The COMPLETE MORTON PROJECT keeps on rolling along, which is lovely. We know there isn’t an infinite supply of Morton compositions — which makes me a little nervous, thinking of the end — but their steady progress, song by song, is more than uplifting.
And since I am always a little behind the best runners, here are four more. IF YOU KNEW comes from the late sessions for the General label (“Tavern Tunes” — for the jukebox market in places where people drank alcohol?) but my thought is that if you knew how good this music was, and you surely do, you would spread the word:
and the beautifully tender love song, SWEET SUBSTITUTE, here with equal time given to the yearning verse.
I think I first heard Henry “Red” Allen’s 1965 version — he had been on the original session — and then other heroes, Rebecca Kilgore and Marty Grosz, did it also. But this version is just as heartfelt:
and this week’s basket of Jelly!
Beginning with a wild romp that is either near to or right on top of FAREWELL BLUES, Jelly’s BURNIN’ THE ICEBERG, a title that makes me uncomfortable in the face of global warming / climate change / welcome, O Doom / whatever you’d like to call it:
and finally, the spectacularly evocative WININ’ BOY BLUES, which has as many interpretations attached to it as you can imagine. Looking around online for the record label below, I found someone reproducing the lyrics as “whining boy.” For goodness’ sake. Morton never whined, nor does his music.
Perhaps the truth lies in between the Library of Congress lyrics and the idea of someone bringing wine to resuscitate hard-working women:
Yes, it MUST be Jelly when Andrew Oliver and David Horniblow get together, no matter which side of the room the piano nestles, although they can and do play many more beautiful songs. Wonderfully.
P.S. And. . . . have you heard the Vitality Five’s latest e-78, which pairs LAND OF COTTON BLUES and THAT’S NO BARGAIN? Check it out (as they used to say on the Forty-Second Street of my adolescence — New Yorkers will get the reference — here.
May your happiness increase!