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My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton

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Will Fly 09 Oct 12 - 04:53 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Oct 12 - 08:26 AM
fat B****rd 09 Oct 12 - 12:05 PM
greg stephens 09 Oct 12 - 01:59 PM
Will Fly 09 Oct 12 - 03:01 PM
Will Fly 09 Oct 12 - 03:02 PM
Bobert 09 Oct 12 - 03:10 PM
Will Fly 09 Oct 12 - 03:13 PM
fat B****rd 09 Oct 12 - 03:17 PM
Will Fly 09 Oct 12 - 03:22 PM
Will Fly 09 Oct 12 - 03:25 PM
olddude 09 Oct 12 - 03:27 PM
Will Fly 09 Oct 12 - 03:27 PM
fat B****rd 09 Oct 12 - 03:32 PM
greg stephens 09 Oct 12 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 10 Oct 12 - 08:07 AM
Will Fly 10 Oct 12 - 08:23 AM
alanabit 10 Oct 12 - 09:36 AM
Stringsinger 10 Oct 12 - 02:09 PM
Will Fly 10 Oct 12 - 03:02 PM
greg stephens 10 Oct 12 - 04:25 PM
Lonesome EJ 10 Oct 12 - 04:27 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Oct 12 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 11 Oct 12 - 03:47 AM
Will Fly 11 Oct 12 - 04:29 AM
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Subject: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 04:53 AM

Many, many years ago, I bought the complete Library of Congress recordings of Jelly Roll Morton - made by Alan Lomax in 1949 - and was totally fascinated by them. (Still am).

Anyway, I was digging through some multi-tracked stuff I'd done about 10 years ago, and came across this track, which I'd done as a tribute to the great man. It's a few sentences of his voice, taen from the recordings, with some backing I played on keyboard and bass, with a drum machine and some synthesised alto sax and strings. The chord sequence is taken from Duke Ellington's "Flaming Sword", and the background strings are playing "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" - if you're interested!

"Jelly Roll Morton"


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 08:26 AM

quite excellent. will write full appreciation later.


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: fat B****rd
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 12:05 PM

'Hello, central...give me Dr. Jazz'
Will,this is great !!
Have you done 'Winin' Boy' by any chance.
Charlie


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 01:59 PM

smashing, nice one Mr Fly. And apropos fat B****rd's comment, here is my recent tribute to Jelly Roll Morton

Wining Boy


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:01 PM

Have you done 'Winin' Boy' by any chance.

Well - yes - as an instrumental...

Winin' Boy


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:02 PM

Greg - forgot to add - wonderful YouTube clip from you - now that's what I call a session!


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:10 PM

What instruments are you playing on ths, W-fly???


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:13 PM

I'm actually playing bass and keyboards - i.e. the piano, synthesised sax track and synthesised strings track, with a programmed drum machine for the back beat. I copied Jelly's voice to mini-disc (remember them?) and inlaid the snippets as appropriate into the recording.


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: fat B****rd
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:17 PM

Thank you, gentlemen. I might even be inspired to learn it myself.


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:22 PM

Bobert - I used a Korg N1 keyboard (which I still have) to play the piano part, then added the sax sound and the strings sound by selecting them from the Korg palette. The drum machine is a Zoom, which can be programmed manually, so that track was laid down first. Then - if memory serves - I put down the main piano track and added the bass. Then I inlaid Jelly Roll snippets followed by the sax melody and finally the strings.

The main work then went into getting the final mix as I wanted it...


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:25 PM

Charlie - some tabs for Winin' Boy available at:

Will Fly's website - tabs page

I haven't checked these over for some time so be afraid- be very afraid... :-)


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: olddude
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:27 PM

that is awesome Will


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:27 PM

And - finally - I've just put this YT video up with some visuals:

"Jelly Roll Morton" on YouTube

And now I'll shut up!


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: fat B****rd
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:32 PM

Many thanks,Will
I promise to have a go.
'Ambitious fingers' Charlie Stenger


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 04:19 PM

Here is Mr Morton himself winin' away


Winin' Boy Blues


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 08:07 AM

My only problem with Jelly Roll is that his vocal style was surely a rip-off of the wonderful George Melly!


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 08:23 AM

LOL! I met George a couple of times - we both used to haunt Dobell's record shop in the Charing Cross Road at lunchtimes in the late '60s - and he was a great fan of JRM. Humph used to call him "Bunny Bum".


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: alanabit
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 09:36 AM

A lot of fun as ever - which will be no surprise to anyone here!


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 02:09 PM

It was very nice. Was the sax MIDI engendered? And the strings?

The Alan Lomax interview has a special significance for early jazz in that Morton claimed to have invented it. His hubris was befitting his artistry at the time so he could get away with that claim.

I love the Red Hot Peppers with the N.O. lineup. I was always a fan of Honore Dutrey since I used to play the trombone.


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 03:02 PM

The sax and string sections were played directly on the Korg N1 keyboard, using a couple of the 1,000 sounds in the memory bank of the Korg. The Korg was connected to my 10-channel mixer - and from there to my Roland 8-track. The sax melisma was obtained by using the pitch wheel on the Korg with my left hand while playing the melody with my right hand.

The slightly difficult bit was getting Jelly Roll's voice on to the Roland. I copied the voice from vinyl to mini-disc with my Sony Discman player/recorder (I still have the very first model ever made) and then split the tracks into segments. Then I lined up the segments and pressed "Play" on the minidisc at the appropriate moment.

The whole rhythm and tempo of the piece was actually dictated by, and based on the rhythm of Morton's speaking voice in the extract I used. One of the comments I had on YouTube yesterday was that it might have been a good idea to add some "scratch" throughout the track so that the crackle on Morton's voice didn't come in "with a whiplash effect" - which is a fair point. But too late to do now!

I love Morton's music - I think he was a much maligned and misunderstood (and cheated) genius. He was a braggart, a pimp, a pool hustler and many other things - but he was also a superb pianist, a fantastic composer and a wonderful band arranger. I have all his recordings, as far as I know. and never tire of them.


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 04:25 PM

And the funny thing is that Lomax would never have recorded him if the very posh expatriate Brit Alistair Cooke hadn't persuaded him to.


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 04:27 PM

Very well done, Will! Love it!


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 08:25 PM

Yeh its good! Its got a New Orleans feel - but its more Allen Toussaint/Lee dorsey era that Jelly Roll Morton.

I was quite an alienated 16 year old. My chemistry teacher used to try and humanise me by talking about jazz to me. he was a trombonist. I lent him Eddie Condon's auto biography and he gave me Mr Jelly Roll by John Lomax.

I was trying to make sense of Ian Buchanan's guitar version of Winding Boy at the time.

I was very naive and young for my age in some respects - i don't think I even had much knowledge of the basic mechanics of sexual intercourse - so Jelly Rolls tales of playing Tales from the Vienna Woods to punters as they were shagging away behind a partition in a New orleans bordello - seemed exotic to me, rather than sordid.

It was very moving to hear his voice.

Thank you Will.


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 03:47 AM

I've read/re-read a couple of books recently which are a must for Jelly Roll fans.
Willie "the Lion" Smith's autobiography "Music on my Mind" paints a marvelous picture of a piano player's life back when the piano was truly king. Jelly Roll, of course, is remembered by Willie.

The second book is called - something like - ""Louis Armstrong's "New Orleans"" and paints a marvelous evocative picture of that city when Louis was learning his trade and Jelly Roll was strutting around in all his magnificence!


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Subject: RE: My tribute to Jelly Roll Morton
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 04:29 AM

Alan Lomax, of course, did the biography, "Mr. Jelly Lord" - on my shelves somewhere - which relied very much on Morton's reminiscences and is therefore subject to some errors.

Duck Baker gave me a very interesting monograph he'd done on Morton's origins, including data on his actual birth certificate, which actually puts him playing in New Orleans well after 1902, rather than the 1902 as spoken by Morton. Naturally, being the 'creator of jazz', Morton had to make himself older than he really was, bless him.

When I played in the Jubilee Jazz Band in Brighton in the late 1970s/early '80s, we put together a version of Morton's "Sidewalk Blues" complete with introductory shouting, klaxon and whistle - great fun!

"You're so dumb you should belong to the deaf and dumb society!"
"I'm sorry, Boss - I got the Sidewalk Blues..."


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