January 23 2012
All week we’ve be talking about Dixieland Jazz on the Mardi Gras Moments, a quintessential style of music from New Orleans and the old-timey sound of Mardi Gras. Wednesday, we had Jack Teagarden, often regarded as the "Father of Jazz Trombone" on the Moment.
He is often mentioned as one of the best white male jazz vocalists of the era; his singing style is quite like his trombone playing, in terms of improvisation (in the same way that Louis Armstrong sang quite like he played trumpet). His singing is best remembered for duets with Louis Armstrong and Johnny Mercer. We heard him on his own on Wednesday however on the excellent "Sheik Of Araby"
Jack Teagarden "The Sheik Of Araby"
Speaking of the early days of Jazz and ragtime. Another way to think about that early jazz though, is as ragtime with a bit of swing. A few performers at the turn of the century helped that transition with advances in their respective techniques. One such artist was Ferdinand Joseph La Mothe AKA Ferd “Jelly Roll” Morton.
Widely recognized as a pivotal figure in early jazz. He was among the first to put swing into ragtime piano, adapting the emerging sound of early jazz to the piano. A style called Stride Piano, where one hand played a walking bassline while the other carried the melody in a rhythmic way. Morton’s style was different than other Stride Piano players, and is identified as having that New Orleans flavor due to the way his right hand played the melody. He was also jazz's first arranger, putting jazz to paper. His composition "Jelly Roll Blues" was the first published jazz composition, in 1915 and what we hear for Thursday’s Mardi Gras Moment…
Jelly Roll Morton "Jelly Roll Blues"
If you like these Moments, or just like a good party, you bet 88Nine's throwin down at our Fat Tuesday shindig at Turner Hall in the 21st of February. Mama Digdown's Brass Band and Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound will be playing and we hope to see you there...