Sunday, 18 August 2013

19. New Orleans Rhythm Kings & Jelly Roll Morton

The New Orleans Rhythm Kings (NORK) were another highly influential early jazz band that bridged the gap between the original New Orleans ensemble sound to the Chicago style of the early to mid 1920's. Their career was brief as they only made recordings from 1922 to 1925 (not including a Platters-esque "reunion" in the mid 30's). Many have erroneously put them in the same bracket as the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. The differences in approach and style are noticeable from this important album. The NORK refused to go down the road of the novelty sound that the ODJB were famous for. They also acknowledged the influence of African Americans in their playing style something that Nick LaRocca went out of his way to deny.

The NORK possessed three musicians of great standing. Paul Mares on cornet, George Brunies on trombone and Leon Roppollo on clarinet. One of the most famous tracks on the album is Tin Roof Blues. Here is a great example of early New Orleans jazz musicians stepping away from the ensemble style and taking turns on their own. They are not quite improvising as much as Bechet or Armstrong would do a couple of years later but the evidence of alternate takes of this song would suggest that that they were pushing the envelope for the time.

In July of 1923 they recorded a session with Jelly Roll Morton. These were to prove historically important as they were one of the first mixed race recordings released by a major label. Howard Reich and William Gaines in their biography of Morton in Jelly's Blues argue that the recordings transformed the NORK significantly.

1. Eccentric
2. Farewell Blues
3. Discontented Blues
4. Bugle Call Rag
5. Panama
6. Tiger Rag
7. Livery Stable Blues
8. Oriental
9. Sweet Lovin' Man
10. That's A-Plenty
11. Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble
12. Weary Blues
13. That Da Da Strain
14. Wolverine Blues
15. Maple Leaf Rag
16. Tin Roof Blues
17. Sobbin' Blues
18. Marguerite
19. Angry
20. Clarinet Marmalade
21. Clarinet Marmalade
22. Mr. Jelly Lord
23. Mr. Jelly Lord
24. London Blues
25. Milenberg Joys
26. Milenberg Joys
27. Mad

No comments:

Post a Comment