This massive 25-track single-disc compilation of work by Jelly Roll Morton was assembled with an ear toward presenting the innovator in all of his periods as well as in many of his settings from soloist to accompanist and bandleader. To that end, Mike Pointon's Oh Mister Jelly! fires on all cylinders. His liner notes give us a solid foundation for his thoughts and why he considered certain selections important even if the choices are not always obvious. Throughout we get Morton playing alone and also leading his trio, his orchestra, his Red Hot Peppers, his New Orleans Jazzmen, and his Jelly Roll Morton Seven to be sure. But there are other moments, including his accompanying Lizzie Miles on "I Hate a Man Like You" and playing with King Oliver, the Levee Serenaders, and Wingy Manone & His Orchestra. The tunes range from obvious selections such as “Mr. Jelly Lord” and “Shreveport Stomp” to “The Chant,” “Winin' Boy Blues,” and “My Home Is a Southern Town.” Given the budget price and sound that ranges from fair to very good, this is a nice little comp to check out as an entry into the world of the man who is said by some to have invented jazz.
Oh, Mister Jelly! Review
by Thom Jurek