Complete Morton #8 – Oil Well / Sidewalk Blues

This week’s Jelly Roll Morton compositions are up, starting it off with “Oil Well”, one of his 30s medium-large sized band sides.  Of course, adapting it to the duo setting was a bit interesting but it’s a catchy stomp tempo tune with a nice diminished chord in the 3rd strain which to my ear gives it a bit of a sentimental sound.  Apparently this tune was written in homage to one of Jelly’s friends, a rich guy in the oil industry…I’m sure there’s some incredible story there that’s been lost to history, but at least we have the tune!

Secondly is one of the famous 1926 Red Hot Peppers sides, “Sidewalk Blues.”  The original has a hilarious and highly politically incorrect skit as the introduction…but unfortunately we were too busy recording Morton’s 103 other compositions to bother with the skit.  Nonetheless it’s another great example of Morton’s skill as a blues arranger, taking the relatively simple 12 bar blues structure and creating a wide variety of moods and textures in a short 3 minute time span.  Stay tuned next week and subscribe to the YouTube Channel if you haven’t yet…

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