[Dixielandjazz] Doctor Jazz - Jelly Roll Morton.
Fri, 27 Sep 2002 12:34:03 -0400
Steve's "exact quote" comes from Alan Lomax's book "Mister Jelly Roll" which
pre-dates both Hentoff and "Hear Me Talking to Ya" (1966) . It is a very
good read. Likely Hentoff took it from Lomax's book but the original source
was almost certainly Lomax's 1938 "library of Congress" recordings of JRM.
I must have another listen to those recordings, when time permits.
>From reading this chapter of the book, we learn that Jelly Roll was but a
lad when he first encountered and described this Storyville scene. He
was allowed to stay out on Saturday and Sunday nights until 11 pm. On the
same page we read that when his great-grandmother eventually found out he
was playing jazz piano she said to him "A musician is nothing but a bum and
a scalawag. I don't want you around your sisters. I reckon you better
> Here is the exact quote attributed to Jelly Roll Morton; as originally
> quoted by Nat Hentoff (Village Voice) back in the 1950s, and then again
> in1966 in a publication by Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff: "Hear Me Talking
> To Ya: The Story of Jazz, as Told By The Men Who Made It." New York,
> Dover Publications 1966.
> JRM talking about Storyville:
> "Something that nobody has ever seen before or since . . .The chippies
> in their little-girl dresses were standing in the crib doors singing the
> blues . . . Music was pouring into the streets from every house . . .
> Prositiutes, some very happy, some very sad. some with the desire to end
> it all by poison, some planning a big outing, a dance, or some other
> kind of enjoyment. Some were real ladies in spite of their downfall and
> some were habitual drunkards and some were dope fiends as follows:
> opium, heroin, cocaine, laudanum, morphine, et cetera. I was personally
> sent to Chinatown many times with a sealed note and a small amount of
> money and would bring back several cards of 'hop' --opium."
> Yeah, JRM was "Doctor Jazz" back then.
> Steve Barbone
Hot Five Jazzmakers, Toronto, Canada
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