Complete Morton #21 – Low Gravy / State and Madison

Well after last week’s Fingerbuster it was hard to decide where to go next, but we’ve returned to Jelly’s late 20s band sides for a particularly cool one, “Low Gravy,” which features a really nice second strain melody originally played by Albert Nicholas and faithfully recreated for us by David this week.  This one, like many of the seemingly hastily assembled late 20s band sides is a bit short on material later on in the piece, but the first sections are especially nice and we had a good time playing it!

Secondly this week is definitely a Morton piece deserving wider recognition – “State and Madison.”  It was apparently co-composed by Morton, Bob Peary, and Charles Raymond and actually published in a band orchestrated version in 1928, which was recorded in a very obscure version by one Joe Herlihy and his orchestra, a hot dance band.  It was played MUCH more sedately by Morton in the Library of Congress in 1938, during a part of the interview where he was going through his old copyrighted manuscripts and it does seem as though he’s playing the written part very directly.  Anyhow, we’ve taken a middle ground between the two tempos and present for your listening pleasure a new version of this very cool tune.  The three strains are quite different, with a particularly interesting descending motif in the second strain and a nice Mortonian climactic progression in the third.  Hope you enjoy!

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