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Jelly's Blues: the Life, Music, and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton By Howard Reich and William Gaines Da Capo Press 2003
There are two heroes in Jelly's Blues. One, of course, is the book's subject, legendary early jazz composer and pianist Jelly Roll Morton. The other is an eccentric New Orleans collector of Morton memorabilia named William Russell, whose archives formed the basis for this radical rethinking of Morton's life and legacy.
Poring through the thousands of documents and letters in Russell's collection, stored for years in boxes and shopping bags in his French Quarter apartment, authors Reich and Gaines discovered a much different Jelly Roll Morton than the buffoonish character he has often been portrayed as. Instead of the charlatan and braggart who claimed he invented jazz, and then frittered away his talents to die in poverty and obscurity, Morton emerges as a musician of serious intent who continued composing in a distinctly modern vein long after his immense popularity of the '20s had faded. He's also credited as the first jazz artist to copyright his compositions, though that didn't help him recover the royalties owed him by publishers and record companies.
Equal parts detective story and jazz history, Jelly's Blues sets the record straight about one of the most vital, colorful and misunderstood figures in jazz - and one of many whom the music business used, profited from, and then abandoned. Jazz fans owe the authors, both veteran Chicago Tribune reporters, as well as the late Mr. Russell, a considerable debt of gratitude.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com