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Black Bottom Stomp

Composed by Jelly Roll Morton

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Black Bottom Stomp

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Jelly Roll Morton
Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe, professionally known as Jelly Roll Morton, was an American ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer who started his career in New Orleans, Louisiana. Widely recognised as a pivotal figure in early jazz, Morton is perhaps most notable as jazz's first arranger, proving that a genre rooted in improvisation could retain its essential spirit and characteristics when notated. His composition "Jelly Roll Blues" was the first published jazz composition in 1915. Morton is also notable for writing such standards as "King Porter Stomp", "Wolverine Blues", "Black Bottom Stomp", and "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say”. Notorious for his arrogance and self-promotion, Morton claimed to have invented jazz outright in 1902, much to the derision of fellow musicians and the critics.
At the age of fourteen, Morton began working as a piano player in a brothel (or, as it was referred to back then, a sporting house).
In that atmosphere, he often sang smutty lyrics and took the nickname "Jelly Roll". While working there, he was living with his religious, church-going great-grandmother; who he convinced that he worked as a night watchman in a barrel factory. After Morton's grandmother found out that he was playing
jazz in a local brothel, she kicked him out of her house and told him that “devil music” would surely bring about his downfall. Born in downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, his exact birth date differs depending to whichever source you want to believe; his half-sisters claimed he was born in September 1885 but his World War 1 draft card showed September 1884 and his California death certificate listed his birth as September 1889. He died in 1941 in Los Angeles.

Black Bottom Stomp
"Black Bottom Stomp" was composed by in 1925 and was originally entitled "Queen of Spades". It was recorded in Chicago by Morton and “His Red Hot Peppers” in 1926. This recording has many features that are typical of the New Orleans style and was written for a line-up of trumpet, clarinet and trombone, piano, banjo, bass and drums. Morton practiced what he preached and managed to incorporate in one short piece an original work derived from multi-thematic ragtime structures, accompanied by a percussive "slapped" bass used to help keep time, trombone counter-melody tailgating, stomps, breaks, stoptime, backbeat, two-beat, four-beat, riffs, and a rich variations of melody and dynamics of volume; all the elements of jazz that he understood so well.

Arranged by Jock McKenzie

4:00 Minutes
4 Trumpets
1 Horn in F
3 Trombones  
1 Euphonium
1 Tuba  
1 Drum Kit