Jelly Roll Morton: 1926-1930 Box set, Original recording remastered
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Volume 2 follows Morton to New York and features a few forceful piano solos, a strong session with trumpeter Red Allen and unsung clarinet player Albert Nicholas, plus a standout trio date with clarinetist Barney Bigard and drummer Zutty Singleton. Volume 3 is not as consistently brilliant, but offers some gems as well, including cuts with Nicholas and trumpeter Ward Pinkett on board from July 1930. The final two discs contain mostly alternative takes, but unfortunately, the masters of Morton's terrific New York session debut are for some reason buried at the end of disc four's alternates. It is, however, a tiny caveat considering the overall worth of this indispensable box. --Marc Greilsamer
Top Customer Reviews
This collection by JSP is an absolute godsend. Originally a British import that received poor circulation in the U.S., it went out of print for many years when JSP was bought by another company that went on to re-issue all of their CD's. As any jazz collector can tell you, these CD's are famous for the meticulous remastering done by jazz archivist/sound expert, John T. R. Davies, and this Jelly Roll Morton box set is one of THE gems of the JSP catalog. It covers pretty much the same recording as the RCA Victor box set, "Centennial," including every track of Morton's best and most famous work with his Red Hot Peppers. JSP's box set is much more preferable than the RCA Victor set for many reasons. First, alternate takes are place on separate discs (RCA stacks them on top of the master take), which makes for better listening. Second, the JSP box is much less expensive. Third and most important of all is sound quality.Read more ›
Provided you can read the microscopic printing on the CD booklet notes, they're serviceable. But if you're really interested in "Mr. Jelly Lord," there are some good books available that will probably serve you better.
The CD booklet covers leave a lot to be desired; this is definitely a "budget" set. But if you listen to the music instead of look at the packaging, this set has it all over the RCA set -- and at a bargain box price, at that.
Get it now before it goes out of print again.
The music played by Morton in the 20's ranked 2nd to none, although there was no soloist of Armstrong's calibre in his bands (there was only ONE Armstrong !). Morton skills as an arranger, composer and pianist were above everyone else during this period.
The first CD is from 09/26 to 06/27. There are the all time classics such as Doctor Jazz, Dead Man blues, and the tracks with the great clarinettist Johnny Dodds (the last eight tracks). Dodds presence added something extra to what was already great music. The last two tracks offer a chance to hear Morton the pianist - as he is joined only by the Dodds brothers.
The 2nd CD offers anything from piano solos to a semi big band, recorded in 1929. Instead of Dodds we have the opportunity to hear Barney Bigard and Zutty Singleton, two other New Orleans giants, join Morton for a trio on the last four tracks. There are also highlights featuring a band with Henry Allen, J.C Higginbotham, Paul Barbarin and Pops Foster, among others.
The 3rd CD was recorded during 1930, and is actually the last CD of the box set, as the remaing two CD's contain alternative takes of songs that appear in the first three. It contains swinging music, and such names as Wilbur De Paris, Bubber Miley and Albert Nicholas. I love "Harmony Blues", "Ponchatrain" - to me this is just outstanding music.
CD's 4 and 5 are alternative takes of some of the best songs. They offer a chance to see how much of the music was actually improvised and how much was written down.
Overall - for its musical depths, it historic value, its great remastering, and the very reasonable price - this is HIGHLY recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's hard to sit still with this playing! Yes, the recordings sound like recordings from long ago, but in a warm and pleasant way. Read morePublished 8 months ago by BertLovesErnie
A good remastering of the sound in this CD set, much better than any other Jelly Roll Morton CDs I could find.. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Garuda28
Jelly Roll Morton is one of the leading figures in American jazz of the 1920s and 1930s. This is an excellent collection of Morton's music recorded between 1926 and 1930. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
What caused me to buy this multi-disc set was hearing 4 cuts made with his Red Hot Peppers. Then I heard "That's Like it Ought to Be' by his Trio, a band of his I'd not heard. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Classic Jazz Fan
But does anyone my age (82) or younger actually ENJOY most of the New York sessions? I except those with Bechet and Albert Nicholas which are not included here.Published 24 months ago by David Wilmot
I never saw the product, never saw the quality, but heard that it was great and they enjoy it. Good enough for me.Published on July 7, 2013 by Anonymous
I remember first hearing the wild New Orleans jazz of Jelly Roll Morton when I was only eleven. I had never heard anything like it before. Read morePublished on October 21, 2012 by Pietro Shakarian
This collection of Chicago and NY recordings in 1926-30 far surpasses anything previously issued. The remastering achieves a wonderful balance between eliminating the pops and... Read morePublished on December 27, 2010 by Douglas Thorpe