Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Hyena Stomp

Hyena Stomp_Victor 20772-A
On June 4th 1927, Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers recorded the 6th session for Victor in Chicago. Hyena Stomp, Billy Goat Stomp, Wild Man Blues and Jungle Blues were recorded in this memorable session featuring the extraordinary vocal cotributions by Lew La Mar imitating a laughing hyena or a stubborn goat! According to available info (here), Louis August La Mar (Lew La Mar) was a French Canadian, born in Quebec on 11th December 1873. He migrated to the U.S. with his parents prior to 1894. He was white — not African-American. He registered for the WWI draft on 12th September 1918. The draft card records his occupation as a Theatrical Actor for the Western Vaudeville Association, Majestic Theatre Building, Chicago, the same vaudeville group that employed Bill Johnson. On 4th June 1927 Lew La Mar joined Jelly-Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers in Chicago to participate in the mentioned Victor recording session.  He is featured on Hyena Stomp and Billy Goat Stomp. Other members of the band include George Mitchell (c); Gerald Reeves (tb); Johnny Dodds (cl); Paul “Stump” Evans (as); Jelly Roll Morton (p-dialogue); Bud Scott (g); Quinn Wilson (bb); Warren “Baby” Dodds (d)

The reason for setting focus on Hyena Stomp here is to point you to another great performance of the tune just released today on You Tube as part of The Complete Morton Project  initiated by pianist Andrew Oliver and reed player David Horniblow (- learn more at Andrew Oliver's website, here). The project has now reached halfway through the 104 compositions by Morton, thus Hyena Stomp and the other tune released today, Dixie Knows, are milestones of this terrific and very uplifting project. The jubilee is further marked by the fact that the duo of Oliver and Horniblow is extended to a quartet with two guest performers in the performance of Hyena StompMichael McQuaid (clarinet/alto) and Nick Ball (laughing & drums), both members of Oliver's Vitality Five ensemble (- more info here )

The second tune of the Complete Morton Project released today is as mentioned above Dixie Knows, a tune Morton published and co-wrote with Mel Stitzel in 1930 but never recorded according to Oliver's notes (here). I remember a version of this tune for finger style guitar played by Swedish guitarist Lasse Johansson (- you can listen to it at Spotify, here ), however, the version by Oliver and Horniblow is different and performed as a stomp in the usual duo setting of piano and clarinet. Enjoy it below and be sure to follow the Complete Morton Project on You Tube every Tuesday through the remain of 2018!


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