Jelly Roll Morton

Complete, Vol. 5-6

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The third of four two-LP sets put out by French RCA that reissues all of Jelly Roll Morton's recordings for Victor (including a few sidemen appearances bypassed by the recent five-CD Bluebird set) is a bit of a hodgepodge although consistently very interesting. Morton is heard leading what was essentially the Luis Russell Orchestra (with trumpeter Red Allen, trombonist J.C. Higginbotham and clarinetist Albert Nicholas), playing spirited piano behind the crazy (and frequently hilarious) vaudevillian clarinetist Wilton Crawley, backing the superior blues singer Lizzie Miles and his not-so-hot discovery Billie Young, jamming in a trio with clarinetist Barney Bigard and drummer Zutty Singleton, and playing some strong selections (including "Fussy Mabel") with his Red Hot Peppers (featuring trumpeter Ward Pinkett). There is a lot of classic music on this set.

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