Complete Morton #45 – Crazy Chords / Ponchatrain

This Tuesday we have an eccentric couple of Morton tunes for you, starting with “Crazy Chords,” one of Morton’s few forays into “Modern” harmony along with“Freakish” and “Pep”.  This one features a similar descending chord progression but with the added diminished chord thrown in, rather than parallel descending 9th chords.  Unfortunately this also comes from […]

Complete Morton Project #42 – King Porter Stomp / Anamule Dance

We’ve got two great tunes today, kicking off with Morton’s most famous piece “King Porter Stomp” which he wrote in hommage to another pianist, Porter King.  It became a swing era classic when it was adapted by Benny Goodman for a hit record with his big band.  The 3rd strain chord progression with its climactic […]

Complete Morton Project #41 – The Pearls

We’re celebrating Jelly Roll Morton’s birthday this week (Oct 20, possibly 1885 or 1890, we aren’t entirely sure because he constantly lied to make himself seem older than he was), with his greatest composition “The Pearls.”  It’s a masterful tune with multiple sections, textures, and melodies which he wrote in the teens at the Kansas […]

Complete Morton #40 – Croc-O-Dile Cradle / Tom Cat Blues

This week we present another interesting composition unrecorded by Morton and only found by accident!  The great New York bandleader Vince Giordano was bidding on some vintage sheet music on eBay and came across this tune, “Croc-O-Dile Cradle,” written by Morton.  Only the piano part and banjo part remained, but fortunately all the melodies were […]