Music: Mister Jelly Roll

On the stage of the Chamber Music Auditorium of the Library of Congress the oldtime pianist sat at the keyboard, facing an open microphone. "Mister Morton," said Alan Lomax, assistant curator of the Library's American Folk Song Archive, "how about the beginning? Tell about where you were born and how you got started . . . and maybe keep playing piano while you talk."

Famed Creole Pianist-Composer Ferdinand ("Jelly Roll") Morton (King Porter Stomp, Jelly Roll Blues, Alabama Bound), "the father of hot piano," talked and played almost every day for a month. Folklorist...

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