|That's Sam seated behind the cymbal; with big Jim Robinson and his trombone.|
Morgan's Band played not only in New Orleans, but also in other towns, such as Galveston, along the Gulf Coast.
While Piron's Orchestra played sophisticated, genteel jazz, Morgan's style was also very melodic but just a little more gutzy, pulsating and robust. The band took great care with establishing and maintaining the right tempos - notably for dancing.
Today Sam Morgan is best remembered for the eight tunes his band recorded in New Orleans over two sessions in 1927. Three of these were spirituals (Over in the Gloryland, Down By The Riverside and Sing On); but five were composed by Sam himself:
Everybody's Talking About Sammy
Short Dress Gal
Steppin' On The Gas
Have a listen to Morgan's band playing Mobile Stomp:
And now hear it played by one of today's best jazz bands:
Most traditional jazz bands in the 21st Century not only show influences of the Sam Morgan Band in their playing and musical arrangements but also still have at least a couple of these tunes in their repertoire. And the fact that the Morgan Band recorded the three spirituals seems to have set the precedent that traditional jazz bands must now include spirituals in their programmes. (It is believed the band would never have played spirituals for dances but recorded some only at the request of the recording engineer.) Similarly, the band demonstrated (as in Mobile Stomp) - I think for one of the first times on record - the excitement generated when you play stop-time choruses.
So we all owe a great deal to Sam Morgan.
|Sam Morgan's House in New Orleans|