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.
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!