Complete Morton Project #29 – Pretty Lil / Primrose Stomp

This week’s Jelly Roll Morton selections are two nice stomps (both in the key of C, incidentally) from his middle band period in the late 20s.  The first is “Pretty Lil,” which evidently may have been dedicated to Lil Hardin Armstrong, Louis Armstrong’s first wife, though I now can’t seem to find any substantiating evidence of that, but I’m sure I’ve read it somewhere at some point!  Anyway, it’s a great stomp with some very nice breaks in the middle section and a really wacky intro which was a bit hard to decipher from the relatively sloppy original recording!  Anyway here we go:

Next up is “Primrose Stomp” which despite its nice name is a relatively uninteresting song as far as Jelly’s oeuvre goes.  However it does have a nice introductory lick!  This is one of the ones from a particularly bleak period in his recording career right after his move to New York when he was hard pressed to find New Orleans musicians to play in the style he wanted.  Interestingly, though it’s called a “Stomp”, this one is more in a 32 bar song form with a bridge than the typical three 16-bar strain form Morton used generally for his stomps.

Stay tuned every Tuesday in 2018 of course, more good ones coming soon, including the return of the bass saxophone!!

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