Complete Morton #22 – Jazz Jubilee / Harmony Blues

Moving right along with the Complete Morton Project, we have an unusual offering today – one of Morton’s late period pieces which was unpublished and not recorded by Morton in his lifetime.  There are a number of these which are housed in the Historic New Orleans Collection, originally in the collection of an early jazz enthusiast called William Russell.  Various recordings of some of them exist, including one which we used as the basis of our version by the Scottish bandleader Ken Mathieson and his classic jazz orchestra.  The tune is “Jazz Jubilee,” a nice three strain tune in the typical Morton mold, with some nice unusual harmonies peppered throughout, perhaps reflecting the influence of the swing era a bit on Morton’s aesthetic:

Secondly, the lovely “Harmony Blues,” which is somewhere between a blues and a ballad, with a particularly Morton-esqe chorale section in the middle, and a chord progression reminiscent of “Mister Jelly Lord,” which crops up now and then throughout his slow pieces.  This one is perfectly tailored to Morton’s slow tempo piano flourishes and has the sentimentality of many of his slow pieces.

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