John Szwed notes that in "Black Bottom Stomp," "Morton practiced what he preached, managing to incorporate in one short piece the 'Spanish tinge,' stomps, breaks, stoptime, backbeat, two-beat, four-beat, a complete suspension of the rhythm section during the piano solo, riffs, rich variations of melody, and dynamics of volume, all of the elements of jazz as he understood it."
- Intro: B♭ major, 8 bars, full ensemble
- A section in B♭. Three 16 bar choruses: (i) full ensemble; (ii) trumpet calls with ensemble response; (iii) clarinet solo
- Interlude: 4 bars, for full ensemble
- B section in E♭: Seven 20 bar choruses: (i) Full ensemble with trumpet and trombone break; (ii) clarinet solo (iii) piano solo; (iv) trumpet solo stop-time chorus; (v) banjo solo; (vi) full ensemble with drum break; (vii) full ensemble with trombone break
- Coda in E♭ for full ensemble
The harmonic basis is relatively simple, using standard II - V - I progressions. During the A section chorus, the chord progression passes through the relative minor.
With only seven instruments in the ensemble, Morton produces five distinct textures:
The piece displays traits of Morton's compositional style:
- built-in breaks
- stop-time phrases
- rhythmically lively themes
- frequent contrasts of sustained semibreve phrases with syncopated semibreve patterns
- a stomping "trio" section
Some distinct rhythmic features of New Orleans jazz appear throughout:
- 2-beat mixed with 4-beat time
- Charleston rhythm
Read more about this topic: Black Bottom Stomp
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