- Released: December 15, 1993
- Label: Rounder / Umgd
- 1.The Murder Ballad, Pt. 1
- 2.The Murder Ballad, Pt. 2: "Now Let Me Tell You... "
- 3.The Murder Ballad, Pt. 3: "I Know You've Got My Man... "
- 4.The Murder Ballad, Pt. 4: "They Brought That Gal to the Prison Gate... "
- 5.The Murder Ballad, Pt. 5: "Gal, When I Get Through, You'll Think I'm a ..."
- 6.The Murder Ballad, Pt. 6: "Ask My Sister, Please Don't Be Like Me... "
- 7.The Murder Ballad, Pt. 7: "Goodbye to the World: I Know I'm Gone... "
- 8.Fickle Fay Creep
- 9.Jungle Blues
- 10.King Porter Stomp (No. 2)
- 11.Sweet Peter
- 12.Hyena Stomp
- 13.Wolverine Blues (Begun)
- 14.Wolverine Blues (Concluded)
- 15.State and Madison
- 16.Pearls, The (Begun)
- 17.Pearls, The (Concluded)
- 18.Bert Williams
Solo performer: Jelly Roll Morton (vocals, piano).
Recorded at the Library Of Congress, Washington, D.C. in May-June 1938.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
THE PEARLS is part of Rounder Records' 4-disc Jelly Roll Morton retrospective.
Recording information: Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, Washington DC (05/23/1938-07/07/1938).
The third volume in a four-disc set covering pianist/composer Jelly Roll Morton's 1938 Library of Congress Recordings includes the elaborate work "The Murder Ballad." It covers seven of the disc's 18 selections, and the choppy feel illuminates the problems inherent in Rounder's decision to edit Morton's vocal sections. During the original dates, producer Alan Lomax kept the tape rolling as Morton talked about his life, times and exploits, but Rounder opted to eliminate virtually all the oral narrative. Sometimes it's not glaring, but on "The Murder Ballad," it prevents the listener from hearing the accurate flow and feel of Morton's music. Those with sensitive ears beware; there's some sexually graphic and offensive (though hilarious) material. ~ Ron Wynn