Complete Morton #6 – Dirty, Dirty, Dirty / Spanish Swat

This week’s complete Jelly Roll Morton selections (full explanation here) kicks off with David back on his mid-1920s bass clarinet on a late period Morton tune, “Dirty, Dirty, Dirty.”  This was recorded by Morton in his final band session in 1940 and shows a bit of his evolution to include some of the trademark stylistic ideas of the swing era in some of his later tunes.  At first it seems to be a simple blues, but as it goes on, in typical Mortonian fashion, the arrangement diversifies and more textures are introduced making a really cool overall form to a simple form, culminating in a climactic key change at the end.  (sorry the video is a bit out of focus):

Secondly this week, “Spanish Swat,” one of Morton’s more obscure “Spanish Tinge” tunes, which he only recorded once during the Library of Congress interview in the context of his long discussion of the Spanish Tinge rhythm and its importance to jazz (You can hear it in 2 parts here and here on Spotify).  This one is a bit darker than some of the other Spanish Tinge tunes and has only two sections but I particularly like it as it has a really strong Tango feeling.  Enjoy!  See you next week!


  1. Andrew, what you and David are doing is remarkable, wonderful, and preservative of civilization, or at least a mighty, heartful strike back against a culture in which Migos, God help us, is the hottest thing going. Each one of your videos brightens my life more than you guys can imagine.

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