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Jelly Roll Morton

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ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 1997 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
No one ever accused Jelly Roll Morton of being a shrinking violet. In a famous letter to Robert Ripley, of "Ripley's Believe It or Not," the New Orleans jazz pianist-composer, who died in 1941 at the age of 50, identified himself as the "inventor" of jazz. At the time--1938--the claim appeared over-inflated and self-serving. Morton's most productive years were long gone, and he had found it impossible to adapt to the emerging big-band swing styles of the late '20s and '30s.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 2011 | By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
About an hour south of Washington, D.C., deep beneath rolling hills near the verdant Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, lies a storehouse filled with bounty. At one time, during the Cold War, that treasure was cash — about $3-billion worth — that the Federal Reserve had socked away inside cinderblock bunkers built to keep an accessible, safe stash of funds in case of nuclear attack. Photos: America's record stash Now what's buried here, however, is cultural rather than financial: The bunkers are a repository containing nearly 100 miles of shelves stacked with some 6 million items: reels of film; kinescopes; videotape and screenplays; magnetic audiotape; wax cylinders; shellac, metal and vinyl discs; wire recordings; paper piano rolls; photographs; manuscripts; and other materials.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 1991 | HILARY De VRIES, Hilary De Vries is a frequent contributor to Calendar.
Anyone familiar with George C. Wolfe's satire, "The Colored Museum," might be surprised to discover that the playwright has written his new play--"Jelly's Last Jam," a musical about the early 20th-Century jazz musician Jelly Roll Morton--with the words "Honor the Source" taped over his computer. Wolfe's "Museum" savaged several popular myths and figures from black American culture, including fellow playwrights Ntozake Shange and Lorraine Hansberry, the author of "A Raisin in the Sun."
OPINION
October 10, 2008
Re "No dip in its popularity," Oct. 7 I truly enjoyed your article on Philippe's restaurant. It conjured up many wonderful days when I was lucky enough to be included in a threesome (piano, clarinet, cornet) that trekked from Whittier to Reseda to join forces with four friends who played drums, trombone and two other rhythm instruments. We were mesmerized by New Orleans jazz, which had become a victim of the Depression of the 1930s. So, in the late '40s, we became involved with musicians who wanted to bring back the work of Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver and the rest.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 10, 1986
It seems to bother Leonard Feather inordinately that Jelly Roll Morton has achieved the status of jazz giant ("10 Long-Playing Myths Versus the Facts," Aug. 3). Feather's justification for debunking Myth No. 6--"The first great jazz composer-arranger was Jelly Roll Morton"--degenerates into a personal diatribe against the artist and a eulogy for Don Redman. Jelly Roll Morton died in 1941, so it is impossible to compare his accomplishments with Redman's after that date. Before then, and especially in the 1920s, I think Morton's compositions were more distinguished and his arrangements swung much more than Redman's.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 1991 | ALEENE MacMINN, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
Jelly's Best Jam: George C. Wolfe's "Jelly's Last Jam," which closed Sunday at the Mark Taper Forum, broke the theater's total box-office record for an eight-week run. The tribute to jazzman Jelly Roll Morton took in $767,746, besting the previous record of $758,826 for Kenneth Branagh's Renaissance Theatre Company's repertory productions of "King Lear" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in March, 1990.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 1991 | GERALD WILSON, Wilson is a jazz composer, arranger, bandleader and trumpeter who has played for Jimmie Lunceford, Benny Carter, Duke Ellington and Count Basie. He has arranged for Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and Ray Charles. Wilson's Orchestra of the '90s played London and the North Sea Jazz Festival last year.
George C. Wolfe's "Jelly's Last Jam" at the Mark Taper Forum does a bang-up job of crucifying Jelly Roll Morton for claiming to have "invented" jazz. It's time someone said a few words on Jelly Roll's behalf. True, at 17 Jelly Roll made the idle boast that "I invented jazz one Sunday afternoon in 1902." And Wolfe spends a lot of time taking that claim apart, note by note. I've been a fan of Jelly Roll Morton's since I first heard his recordings at the age of 12 in 1930.
NEWS
June 1, 1992 | From Associated Press
"Crazy for You," a loving recreation of a 1930s song-and-dance extravaganza featuring old songs by George and Ira Gershwin, was named best musical of the 1991-92 Broadway season Sunday at the annual Tony Awards ceremony. "Dancing at Lughnasa," Brian Friel's memory play about five unmarried Irish sisters, was chosen best play and won two other awards--featured actress for Brid Brennan and for director, Patrick Mason.
OPINION
October 10, 2008
Re "No dip in its popularity," Oct. 7 I truly enjoyed your article on Philippe's restaurant. It conjured up many wonderful days when I was lucky enough to be included in a threesome (piano, clarinet, cornet) that trekked from Whittier to Reseda to join forces with four friends who played drums, trombone and two other rhythm instruments. We were mesmerized by New Orleans jazz, which had become a victim of the Depression of the 1930s. So, in the late '40s, we became involved with musicians who wanted to bring back the work of Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver and the rest.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 18, 1987 | CHARLES CHAMPLIN, Compiled by Terry Atkinson
"The New York Musical Tribute to Turk Murphy With the Hot Antic Jazz Band and Others." Present Past Productions. $26.95. The legendary San Francisco trombonist Turk Murphy, already gravely ill, was honored at a black-tie musical evening at a New York hotel last Jan. 10.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 2005 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
JAZZ, like classical music, is never out of date, with virtually everything ever recorded eventually winding up in reissue collections, often with improved audio quality. This year's four-star jazz gift items reach from the origins of jazz to its latest manifestations (with a jazz-influenced world music set tossed in for good measure).
BOOKS
December 9, 2001 | JONATHAN KIRSCH
Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton is usually linked to the Big Easy rather than the Big Orange: "New Orleans is the cradle of jazz," he once boasted, "and I, myself, happened to be the creator." But Phil Pastras reveals equally intimate linkages between the pioneering jazz pianist and the American West in "Dead Man Blues," a biography that casts Jelly Roll as the gifted but flawed hero of a saga that is "truly Odyssean" and, at the same time, thoroughly American.
NEWS
September 17, 2000 | TED ANTHONY, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The man in the red wheelchair blows gently, guiding breath through his saxophone and into the world. Six feet away, his lanky partner's fingers massage an electric guitar in a mournful strum. Up the street a bit, tipsy exuberants wander a barscape of frozen drinks and plastic cups, raucous Cajun bands rattle their washboards and Preservation Hall's Dixieland jazz sweats its spirited path into the night. But not here. Not on this spot.
MAGAZINE
September 20, 1998 | Danny Feingold
It's an archetypal tale for the American century: A young chef in Japan sees Francis Ford Coppola's Harlem requiem "The Cotton Club" and falls in love with tap dance. He teaches himself some steps, practices every free moment and dreams of performing. Only there's a twist to this story of pop-culture export. A dozen years later, the chef opens a restaurant in the shadow of Hollywood, serving up sushi, soba and hourly tap dance routines.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 1997 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
No one ever accused Jelly Roll Morton of being a shrinking violet. In a famous letter to Robert Ripley, of "Ripley's Believe It or Not," the New Orleans jazz pianist-composer, who died in 1941 at the age of 50, identified himself as the "inventor" of jazz. At the time--1938--the claim appeared over-inflated and self-serving. Morton's most productive years were long gone, and he had found it impossible to adapt to the emerging big-band swing styles of the late '20s and '30s.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 1996 | MARK CHALON SMITH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Jelly Roll!" takes the audience from jazz pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton's earliest days to his death in Los Angeles. We see Morton as a 6-year-old, talking about voodoo and other strange goings-on in his New Orleans home. Jump forward a lifetime and there he is as a ghost, complaining that his funeral is not nearly as much fun as it should be. "We cover it all, from the start to the end--with many things in between," said Marion J.
BUSINESS
August 31, 1985
Rudi Blesh, jazz historian and biographer, has died of a stroke at his farm in Gilmanton, N.H., the entertainment paper Daily Variety reported Thursday. Blesh was 86 and in 1950 wrote "They All Played Ragtime," the first complete book on the music associated with Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton and others. He also was the author of "Keaton," a 1960 biography of Buster Keaton, and "Shining Trumpets," a history of Afro-American jazz he wrote in collaboration with Harriet Janis.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 2005 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
JAZZ, like classical music, is never out of date, with virtually everything ever recorded eventually winding up in reissue collections, often with improved audio quality. This year's four-star jazz gift items reach from the origins of jazz to its latest manifestations (with a jazz-influenced world music set tossed in for good measure).
NEWS
June 1, 1992 | From Associated Press
"Crazy for You," a loving recreation of a 1930s song-and-dance extravaganza featuring old songs by George and Ira Gershwin, was named best musical of the 1991-92 Broadway season Sunday at the annual Tony Awards ceremony. "Dancing at Lughnasa," Brian Friel's memory play about five unmarried Irish sisters, was chosen best play and won two other awards--featured actress for Brid Brennan and for director, Patrick Mason.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 27, 1992 | LINDA WINER, NEWSDAY STAFF WRITER
So somebody finally got it right. After two other black musical revues opened on Broadway this month, "Jelly's Last Jam" came to the Virginia on Sunday night with Gregory Hines in the title role and showed how a big-time revue is done. The show, based on the music of Jelly Roll Morton, has a huge, impeccable cast, exhilarating performances, elegantly understated sets and a witty, confident, often scathing, sense of style.
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