never got the chance to record his best material in arrangements
for big-bands, although it is known that he had written an
extensive library of charts. One aim of this project is to
attempt to show how these might have sounded and, at the same
time, to introduce original ideas and new stylistic concepts
just as Morton, ever a forward-looking musician, would have
done himself had he lived long enough.
Another aim of
this project is to make Morton’s music accessible to
a public that might not be aware of its existence. In doing
this, my principal aim was always to preserve the spirit and
integrity of Morton’s own interpretations. A crucial
aspect of his music was always its inherent energy and joy,
and I hope that we have captured some of this.
While most of
my arrangements had their genesis in Jelly’s own piano
solo performances, with some additional excerpts from his
own recordings, some, like Jungle Blues, were radical rethinks.
Gil Evans wrote a great chart on King Porter Stomp, which
I have reduced as a feature for Keith Edwards, and it was
this that prompted me to ponder what Evans would have made
of Jungle Blues.