Starting The Week off on a High Note
- I have decided to try and start each new week off on a positive high note. But being a glass half empty kind of guy I suspect things will turn into crap soon enough.
Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (October 20, 1890 – July 10, 1941) known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton, was an American ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer who started his career in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Widely recognized as a pivotal figure in early jazz, Morton was jazz's first arranger, proving that a genre rooted in improvisation could retain its essential spirit and characteristics when notated.
His composition "Jelly Roll Blues", published in 1915, was the first published jazz composition. Morton also wrote the standards "King Porter Stomp", "Wolverine Blues", "Black Bottom Stomp", and "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say", the last a tribute to New Orleans musicians from the turn of the 20th century.Morton was born into the inward-looking, Creole (free people of color) community in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, c. 1890. Both parents could trace their Creole ancestry back four generations to the 18th century.
At the age of fourteen, Morton began working as a piano player in a brothel (or, as it was referred to then, a sporting house). In that atmosphere, he often sang smutty lyrics; he took the nickname "Jelly Roll", which was African-American slang for female genitalia, and by extension a lover of same. While working there, he was living with his churchgoing great-grandmother; he convinced her that he worked as a night watchman in a barrel factory.
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