From the Record Shelves #243

Winin’ Boy Blues

LP RCA Vintage Series LPV-559

Today I’m back with the classic LP’s of likewise classic jazz. Jelly Roll Morton must have been happy, or at least content when, after some miserable years, musically speaking, he entered the studio to front a band with selected top men within the idiom.

He had a preference for musicians from his hometown New Orleans and got some here: Albert Nicholas on clarinet, Sidney Bechet on soprano sax, Wellman Braud on bass and Zutty Singleton on drums. Further in the group he had Lawrence Lucie on guitar and Happy Cauldwell on tenor sax, and in the important roles of trumpet and trombone, respectively Sidney de Paris and Claude Jones.

It could have been a mess with this kind of loose arrangement, and if everyone wanted to show off, but Jelly, whose strong vocal is the highlight, controls it and his principle to never fill the glass rules. I guess that he didn’t want to have an ending with a climax, since no attempt at that is made in either of the two takes. Personally, I think that this second take is superior, with better performances from the two saxophonists.