Jelly Roll Morton

The Library of Congress Recordings, Vol. 4

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The Library of Congress Recordings, Vol. 4 Review

by Scott Yanow

Alan Lomax's decision to record the aging pianist/composer Jelly Roll Morton in 1938 for the Library of Congress resulted in a great many timeless stories and quite a bit of music being preserved that would have otherwise been lost. The recording quality of these "interviews" is sometimes a bit shaky (Lomax used a wire recorder) and incomplete but there are many special moments. Vol. 4 in the eight-LP series groups together three increasingly risque versions of "Winin' Boy Blues," Morton's classic "The Crave," a few of his blues and a bit of storytelling.