This week we have another bass sax + fast piano tune from the great Jelly Roll Morton, followed by a very slow minor blues for maximum contrast! We’re starting with “The Naked Dance,” a tune Jelly came up with to demonstrate the type of thing he would play at the various high-class brothels in New Orleans as a teenager to accompany a type of dance where a lady would dance naked high up in the air on a 2×4 beam. Now, if I were to choose what to accompany such an act with, it would be pretty far from this, but nonetheless it seems this is what was in vogue!! We took advantage of the bass sax to highlight another of Morton’s devices drawn from the very early New Orleans days – the “bad note” bass. This is where the lowest note in the bassline is moved down a step to create an awkward but cool effect, which was also a trademark of Tony Jackson, Morton’s piano idol and the man who created the template for this type of “Naked Dance” tune. Enjoy:
And secondly, “I Hate A Man Like You,” a tune Morton wrote for a recording with the blues singer Lizzie Miles in the late 20’s. It has some of the dirge-like qualities of some of his minor key “Spanish Tinge” tunes, especially “Spanish Swat“, and a great bluesy melody. This one is up there on the list of more obscure tunes we’ve discovered this year!
Stay tuned as ever to the YouTube Channel!
I hate a man like you has been a favourite for years, based on the way Jelly sang it for Alan Lomax. Frankly it is an amazing song, out-of its time. The way you are reaching into the chalumeau register suggests that the baritone sax is the next port of call!
Just thanks for doing this amazing song so well. I saw George Melly sing it. He didn’t camp it up as he did for ribald blues songs. He respected this number, as he should. Did Jelly ever write a better song?