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A musical telling the life story of Jelly Roll Morton, an early pioneer of jazz, who often made the claim that he had single-handedly invented that musical idiom.

Jelly's Last Jam takes the interesting approach of having Morton's story told not just to the audience but also to Morton himself. A sinister narrator, known as the Chimney Man (who could be a cousin to Cabaret's Emcee) takes Morton on this journey through his life, forcing him to confront those close to him that he hurt: the one woman he truly loved, Anita; his grandmother, the proud Creole Gran Mimi; and his "partner in crime," Jack the Bear. At the end of the musical, Morton is granted an 'absolution,' allowing him to pass into the Afterlife in peace.

Approximately half of the songs in the score are tunes that were penned by Morton himself; lyricist Susan Birkenhead wrote lyrics for them, incorporating them into the storyline. The rest of the songs were written by Luther Henderson. It is a tribute to his skill as a songwriter that one cannot easily discern which songs have melodies by Morton and which have melodies by Henderson.

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