Complete Morton #14 – The Crave / Mint Julep

This weeks Morton selections (with David Horniblow – complete project info) start off with one of Jelly’s best tunes and a shining example of the “Spanish Tinge,” the original “Latin Jazz,” if you will.  Morton’s music was influenced by a wide variety of sounds in early 20th century New Orleans, and the rhythmic feel he called the “Spanish Tinge” was not particularly Spanish but more Caribbean and South American – reflecting the wider creole culture and meeting of musical ideas in an important port city of the time.  It’s a rhythm one often hears in Cuban music, Argentine tango, and many other styles from around the world and one which Morton stressed was of paramount importance to the idea of jazz.  To him, the Spanish Tinge represented the ethereal element which separated the swinging jazz rhythmic feel from the straighter feel of ragtime and he refers to this throughout his epic 1938 Library of Congress interview, giving us a great demonstration here of how the Tinge “really turned the color from red to blue.”  This piece, “The Crave,” is Morton’s best known Spanish Tinge composition and one of our favorites, as it moves through a tango-esque first strain to a bluesy 2nd strain and a 3rd strain full of breaks (another of Morton’s preferred compositional devices) and beautiful sentimental melodies to finally reach a swinging conclusion in a jazz feel:

Secondly today, we have “Mint Julep,” a tune from an interesting 1929 recording session featuring a cast of old buddies from New Orleans including Albert Nicholas (clarinet), Pops Foster (bass), and Paul Barbarain (drums).  We did “Sweet Peter” from this session a couple of weeks ago, and this one is similarly a nice medium tempo blowing tune with a really interesting and unusual bridge:

Stay tuned to the YouTube Channel every Tuesday, special guests and bass saxophone coming up in a few weeks!!

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