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The Crave

Jelly Roll Morton


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Understanding Spanish Tinge


Recorded at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. in 1938 featuring Jelly Roll Morton at the keys.

*"The Crave" was composed by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton.

In this composition Jelly makes use of Spanish rhythms for a piano style that he refers to as "Spanish Tinge". The term is a direct quotation from Jelly Roll Morton used during his recordings for The Library of Congress.

"Then we had Spanish people there. I heard a lot of Spanish tunes. I tried to play them in correct tempo, but I personally didn't believe they were perfected in the tempos. Now take the habanera "La Paloma", which I transformed in New Orleans style. You leave the left hand just the same. The difference comes in the right hand in the syncopation, which gives it an entirely different color that really changes the color from red to blue. Now in one of my earliest tunes, "New Orleans Blues", you can notice the Spanish tinge. In fact, if you can't manage to put tinges of Spanish in your tunes, you will never be able to get the right seasoning, I call it, for Jazz".
-Jelly Roll Morton

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