Complete Morton #30 – Mister Joe / Jersey Joe

We’re really making progress now on the Complete Morton Project – week 30 this week which means it’s our 60th tune!  Only 40 more to go…phew!  Anyway, this week we have a theme of “Joe” for no particular reason other than there are two tunes dedicated to various Joes.  Firstly is “Mister Joe,” which Morton recorded in his 1940 solo sessions which were released in an album called “New Orleans Memories.”  This one was evidently dedicated to Joe “King” Oliver, the great New Orleans cornet player and mentor of Louis Armstrong whose Creole Jazz Band was one of the first great bands to make the move from New Orleans to Chicago in the early 1920s.  According to some sources, this tune was actually a favorite of the Oliver band’s repertoire, though there are no surviving recordings of them playing it.  They did record several other of Jelly’s tunes though, so it’s definitely not a far-fetched suggestion.  Here’s our version:

“Jersey Joe” is one of the 4 tunes from the November 1929 session in which Jelly assembled a cast of some old New Orleans buddies who were working with the Luis Russell band for a very relaxed session of simple tunes.  (Mississippi Mildred, Sweet Peter, and Mint Julep are the others from that session).  This one has a nice first strain and a very typical “Tiger Rag” based second strain.

Stay tuned as ever!  More bass clarinet and bass sax coming soon, we promise!  Onward…

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