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[click on the underlined tracks to listen to a sample]

Morton 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.