As much as I find New Orleans or Traditional Jazz to be among the most smile-inducing music ever made, my LP/cassette tape/CD/iTunes collection contains only four volumes of this remarkable genre of music.
I own Volume 1 & Volume 3 of the Columbia/Legacy CD series compiling the complete recordings of Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five and Hot Seven. The yellow sticker on the outside of the plastic jewel box for Volume 3 proclaims that these recordings are “THE MOST IMPORTANT RECORDINGS IN THE HISTORY OF JAZZ.” I can’t say it any better.
(If you want to add some of Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans Jazz to your music collection and only want to spring for one CD, purchase the Columbia/Legacy album Louis Armstrong: Best Of The Hot 5 & Hot 7 Recordings.
The one bit of vinyl in this group is a copy of the 1968 Coral Records LP by clarinetist Pete Fountain called Walking Through New Orleans. Pete Fountain – born July 3, 1930 in New Orleans – is considered by some to be the greatest living New Orleans-style clarinet player and was once a featured member of the Lawrence Welk Orchestra. (My parents loved Lawrence Welk and used to watch his nationally broadcast television show quite often, much to my teenage chagrin.)
The most recent addition to my miniscule collection is a quite remarkable CD on the RCA/Bluebird label with the long title of Jelly Roll Morton: Birth Of The Hot – The Classic Chicago “Red Hot Peppers” Sessions.
The first track on the Jelly Roll Morton CD is “Black Bottom Stomp,” written and arranged by Mr. Morton. It was the first piece recorded by Morton’s Red Hot Peppers in a session that was held on September 15, 1926 in the Webster Hotel, in Chicago, Illinois, for Victor Records.
You absolutely have to listen to this.
Isn’t that something?
The members of the Red Hot Peppers on that track are: Jelly Roll Morton, piano; George Mitchell, cornet; Kid Ory, trombone; Omer Simeon, clarinet; Johnny St. Cyr, banjo; John Lindsay, bass; Andrew Hilaire, drums.
The Peppers had four more recording sessions over the next nine months, all held in Chicago, Illinois, with the last one held on July 10, 1927.
Jelly Roll Morton was born Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (Lemott? LaMotte? LaMenthe?) on October 28, 1885 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He passed away on July 10, 1941.
According to him, he invented Jazz.