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Jelly Roll Morton: Jazz King of New Orleans

3. “Doctor Jazz” (recorded Dec. 16, 1926; available on Jazz King of New Orleans, Bluebird/BMG, 2002)

Morton and the Peppers again, with “Doctor Jazz,” writing you, dear listener, a powerful scrip. Morton predates the swing era but … does he? A challenge: Find music that swings more than this piece. Sure, it’s a small group, but they whip up an orchestra-sized sound, and then Morton can’t hold that voice back any longer and boom, he’s singing his head off. Let us be frank: Joy can be a hard commodity to come by in this world. These guys are giving you some here—take it.