Kansas City Stomp Lyrics
Jelly Roll Morton
That was the “Kansas City Stomp.” You may notice that in playing jazz, the breaks are one of the most essential things that you can ever do in jazz. Without breaks and without clean breaks, without beautiful ideas in breaks, you don’t need to even think about doin’ anything else. If you can’t have a decent break, you haven’t got a jazz band, or you can’t even play jazz.
Show us a good break, Jelly.
Now that’s what you’d call a pretty good break. For instance, I’ll play just a little bit of a melody of somethin’ and show you.
That’s what you’d call a break . . .
Maybe I’d better play something that you can understand more. For instance, “Strutters’ Ball.”
I made those blakes . . . breaks kind of clean, because the fact of it is, everybody knows this tune and they know how it’s played and they’ll know where the breaks come in.
Without a break you have nothing. Even if a tune have no break in it, it is always necessary to arrange some kind of a spot to make a break. Because without a break, as I said before, you haven’t gotten jazz . . . and, er, your accurate tempos with your backgrounds of your figures, which is called riffs today. Of course that, that happens to be a musical term — riffs.
What’s the difference between a riff and a break? Aren’t they about the same thing?
Oh, no, no. There’s a difference, er, a riff is a background. A riff is what you would call a foundation, as, like you would walk on. It’s something that’s standard. And a break is something that you break. When you make the break — that means all the band break, with maybe one, two, or three instruments. It depends upon how the combination is arranged. And as you, as the band breaks, you have a set, given time, possibly two bars, to make the break.
Isn’t . . . isn’t the break what you . . . when you, when you make break, isn’t that what you mean by swinging?
No, no, that’s not what swing is. Swing don’t mean that. Swing means something like this: