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Jelly's Blues: The Life, Music, and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton
The acclaimed, definitive biography of the first jazz composer, based on newly discovered archival material
ebook, 319 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Da Capo Press
(first published 2003)
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Biography of Morton that utilized a lot of new material from William Russell's Morton archives. In a large sense, Jelly's Blues was conceived as a corrective to the Alan Lomax book on Jelly Roll. I've not read the Lomax book, but he is often criticized for trying to make his african american sources fit his own stereotypes about their lives and for focussing on the non-musical parts of their lives. The Lomax book was drawn from his recorded conversations with morton at the Library of Congress; h ...more
Excellent, well-researched book about one of the best composers of American music. Reich succeeds in depicting Morton as a human being (in many senses a wronged unfairly treated human being) rather than as a myth or larger than life legend. Knowing the struggles of Morton (many of which were of his own making) provides only more meaning to his compositions