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Dec 2 07 7:49 AM

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Hi all,

About 8 years ago, MMD'er and AMICA official Karl Ellison uncovered a copy of Jelly Roll Morton playing one of his greatest compositions, 'The Pearls'. It was one of the rolls Jelly recorded for Vocalstyle whilst in Ohio in June 1924, but no surviving copy had been discovered until then.

Karl recut a number of copies at the time. I didn't buy one, but have always regretted it and the time's come for me to do something about it!

I've written to Karl and asked if he'd make another recut run. Obviously, the more interested buyers I could list, the less financially risky it becomes for him. So, who wants one?! I assume the price would be within the normal recut range of US$12-16, plus shipping.

http://www.pianola.co.nz
'Preserving The Music Of Yesterday'
Free MIDI Files Scanned From Piano Rolls
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#2 [url]

Dec 6 07 8:58 AM

Hi Frank,

Yes, it was Dave - I wrote to him some days ago and he agreed to make a run of 7 copies for me.

Since my initial post to the forum here provoked nothing more than tumbleweeds blowing through, I'll assume noone wants a copy - a pity, since it's still a hell of a rare roll and one of the definitive jazz performances set down.

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#3 [url]

Dec 6 07 9:09 AM

Hi, I missed the first post for some reason...

I like the roll, but am afraid shipping to the Netherlands makes is a bit expensive...

-- Phonola 73-note vorsetzer (in restoration) -- Steck pedal electric Duo-Art (in restoration too) -- Citro├źn Dyane (drives great, but needs restoration too)

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#4 [url]

Dec 7 07 6:10 PM

Jelly Roll

Same for me

Rather expensive to ship here to the UK.

Plus I will now show myself up by admitting that I don't have a clue what the music sounds like. Although I have heard of Jellyroll in the past.

Are their any samples of his music which can be listened to?

Andy

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#5 [url]

Dec 7 07 8:50 PM

Plus I will now show myself up by admitting that I don't have a clue what the music sounds like. Although I have heard of Jellyroll in the past.

Are their any samples of his music which can be listened to?


Yes, there's two further Morton tunes on the Player Piano Group website http://www.playerpianogroup.org.uk (go to the Downloads page)

and of course there's the RedHotJazz site where there's mountains of stuff (if you've never been to this site set aside an evening!) http://www.redhotjazz.com/jellyroll.html for the Morton page but do explore away from there after!

regards


Adam
www.themodist.com

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#7 [url]

Dec 22 07 7:18 PM

is there any further progress on this scheme?

Has anyone thought of asking Julian (Dyer) if he can produce copies in the UK also to save UK and European buyers who are interest the expense of copies from the US or US via NZ. Might be a good idea...

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#9 [url]

Dec 31 07 10:43 AM

I have no strong ownership of the project so if anyone wants to organize a perforator run from the UK end, feel free to contact Karl.

It was Vocalstyle that Jelly recorded 'The Pearls' for, not QRS, but QRS DID acquire them in 1928. This raises an interesting question that perhaps Adam can comment on, although I don't think it's his area of law!

Jelly records "The Pearls" for Vocalstyle in Ohio on June 11, 1924.
It's placed into production that year.

Four years later, QRS acquires Vocalstyle and absorbs them into their own operations (read: closes them down to lessen competition!) The masters are presumably destroyed.

And now, the legal question - who owns the "legal rights" to Jelly's performance?

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#10 [url]

Jan 1 08 11:18 AM

hmmm. My view would be that copying the roll is akin to re-issuing an old 78rpm sound recording. Depending on where you are in the world there are various cut-off points at which old recordings become public domain. As to the music of "The Pearls" the usual copyright calculations can be applied. So, if the music was still in copyright where you live and you wanted to make a new recording or roll then notionally you'd have to pay a royalty to the publishers on it. Likewise if you re-issued some still in-copyright recording of it. As to QRS, I'd say that they abandoned this title in the 20s as they destroyed the masters and don't possess any copy. QRS has a policy of not objecting to re-issues of it's old titles so long as those titles are not in their current catalogue...which is fair enough and re-cutters all know this and understand it as a rule. There are arguments vis "do piano rolls constitute sheet music in a different form" and yes, were this a metronomic roll that could certainly apply however this roll isn't from a category of music rolls that are another form of sheet music - they are recordings and were sold as recordings plain and simple. That's my view on the topic anyhow....


regards



Adam

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#11 [url]

Jan 3 08 8:15 PM

Who owns "The Pearls"? The legal position is pretty clear and can be found on government web sites.

The key thing to understand is that many different types of protection apply to a roll - the physical roll, the musical performance, the composition, the printed words, the label design. The discussion to date has focussed only on the physical roll and the performance on it.

If the rights for The Pearls are active at all, they will be owned by QRS in America, because mechanical rights are active for everything made 1922 onwards - the copyright term has been extended a number of times by successive legislation. However, many old rolls have not been protected and the rights, even if they can conclusively be demonstrated to be owned by anybody, are no longer enforcable - both Duo-Art and Ampico fall into this category. I suspect QRS would be hard pressed to demonstate active protection of the Vocalstyle catalogue. QRS have a long and honourable record of freely granting recutting rights, even for rolls on the QRS label, so asking them is a matter of courtesy as well as a legal issue.

In Europe mechanical rights are 50 years from publication, so anything made in 1957 or earlier is now in the public domain and can be cut without reference to the original producer or any subsequent owner of the rights. Copyright in the compositions, however, is active in Europe for 75 years from the death of the composer (or the death of the longest survivor for multiple-author pieces).

There is presently a lot of pressure from the UK record industry to extend the mechanical rights term because there are a small number of commercially-valuable recordings coming near to the public domain - notably the Beatles material starting in 5 years' time. The government commissioned a review of the whole area (the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property) which emphatically concluded that there was no public benefit in extending terms. The argument continues!

Julian Dyer

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#13 [url]

Jan 5 08 2:37 AM

Reviewing my sources, I find I'm actually wrong.

According to Meddings, 'Morton was in Richmond, Indiana, a distance of 65 miles from Cincinnati on 9th June 1924 to carry out a major piano solo recording session with the Gennett Recording Company.'

We know it was in June 1924 that the rolls were recorded due to Vocalstyle press release on 7 June 1924 stating the rolls have "just" been recorded.

Therefore, the timeframe is actually more likely between the 4th and the 6th June.

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#16 [url]

Apr 8 12 9:45 AM

Julian, if you would make some recuts I wish to order one. Mark

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