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Watch the Bonus: The Pearls online guitar lesson by Tim Sparks from Roots, Rags & Blues

Imagine you were in Manhattan in 1920 and listening to James P. Johnson up in Harlem. Then you could take the subway down to the Lower East side and hear Naftule Brandwein, the "King of the Klezmer Clarinet." Naftule was notoriously unreliable, but his band was always the first call when Murder Incorporated wanted to have a party. He liked to perform in an Uncle Sam costume while wrapped in electric Christmas lights. Brandwein recorded Tanst, Tanst Yidelekh with the Abe Schwartz Orchestra. For more info check out Wikipedia.

The Pearls is one of my favorite tunes by Jelly Roll Morton. It starts in a Habanera, Spanish rhythm in G then modulates to C where the rhythm changes into something like a march with the bass line alternating from C to G. For a detailed look at the life and times of Jelly Roll Morton visit doctorjazz.