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Jelly Roll Stomp
Kansas City Frank Melrose
Franklyn Taft Melrose
(November 26th 1907 - September 1st 1941)
Recorded in Chicago on March 8th 1929 featuring Frank Melrose (as Kansas City Frank) at the piano,
accompanied by Tommy Taylor drums.
*"Jelly Roll Stomp" was composed by Frank Melrose.
This tune is an obvious tribute to Frank Melrose's mentor Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton.
Born in Sumner, Illinois in November 1907 Franklyn Taft Melrose was the younger brother of Walter and Lester Melrose.
In 1918 his older siblings established the Melrose Brothers Music Company in Chicago leaving Frank free to pursue life as a local musician.
He started out playing the violin but would later develop a deep love for the piano inspired by his brother's business partner Jelly Roll Morton.
In 1924 the young pianist left The Windy City for a time traveling and setting for short periods in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Detroit.
Upon his return Frank Melrose's playing was better than ever and was even good enough to play duets with his idol Jelly Roll Morton at local clubs.
In 1929 Frank made a number of recordings produced by his brother Lester for Brunswick Records under the pseudonyms "Broadway Rastus" and "Kansas City Frank".
Issued on the label's "race" series these sides were long thought to be the work of Jelly Roll Morton.
Throughout the 1930's Frank Melrose continued to frequent small establishments while holding a factory job during the day to supplement his income.
He recorded sporadically with artists including Johnny Dodds and George Barnes and participated in his final session in 1941 with "Bud Jacobson's Jungle Kings".
On Labor Day 1941, Frank Melrose was found dead on the street in Hammond, Indiana after purportedly being killed in a club brawl.
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