New Orleans, Kansas City, Harlem…these early hotspots are synonymous with the explosion of Jazz in the 20’s and 30’s. But many big-name artists made their way out West…and none bigger than Jelly Roll Morton, the man who claimed to have invented the whole genre. Morton followed a woman to Seattle, but he stayed for the gamblin’. He’d win big in the underground nightclubs and speakeasies prevalent in the city’s Jackson Street area. He’d win big there…but he’d also lose big. In fact, he even wrote this tune, Seattle Hunch, as a nod to a feeling he’d get when his luck was about to shift. Here he is in a Victor recording from 1929.
Lots of gamblers claim to have such abilities…but Morton even predicted his own death. Find out more by typing “Jelly” in the search bar at Sound Beat dot org.
Sound Beat is produced at the Belfer Audio Archive at Syracuse University.
I’m Brett Barry.