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DOUBLE CD. MORLEY MEMORIES. AN AUDIO CD OF JOE MORLEY COMPOSITIONS. ONE OF THE FINEST COMPOSERS OF CLASSICAL BANJO MUSIC WHO EVER LIVED.
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DOUBLE CD. MORLEY MEMORIES. AN AUDIO CD OF JOE MORLEY COMPOSITIONS. ONE OF THE FINEST COMPOSERS OF CLASSICAL BANJO MUSIC WHO EVER LIVED.

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CLIFFORD ESSEX MUSIC CO. LTD

The Home of the Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar and Kindred Instruments

'MORLEY MEMORIES'

Forty titles played by the

The Sibelius Computer Ensemble

First and Second Banjos, Bass Banjo and Piano

Digitly Recorded

ABOUT THE PIECES

*Alabama Barn Dance:   First printed in Turner’s Banjo Monthly No.  102, in 1900, with the direction‘Tempo di Schottische’.   It is not quite as easy as it sounds.

Andante and Dance:   The source of this title is a manuscript bearing two statements.  The first is: ‘Composed by Joe Morley’, and the second: ‘Remembered by Tarrant Bailey Junior’.   There do not appear to be any other surviving manuscripts of this piece.

* Banjollity:   This solo has appeared in both the ‘B.M.G.’ magazine and contains some catchy tunes.

Banjoviality:   Another tuneful piece which is not difficult.

Billet d’Amour:   After a slow Introduction in Common Time, this piece continues as a fast Waltz.   The solo part is not easy, but is well worth playing.

Butterfly:   Not to be confused with the published piece of the same title, this one contains fine examples of Morley’s chromatic runs.   Not  an easy solo.

Czardas:   This is not a true czardas but, if played at ‘Morley speed’ it sounds very impressive.   The average banjoist would consider it to be in the ‘difficult’ category.

*Elfaletha:   Full of good tunes, and not as difficult as it sounds.

Florida Cracker:   The first two sections are moderately difficult, and the third is definitely easy, but the piece needs to go at a good pace.  

Gavotte:   One of Morley’s quiet pieces.   Rewarding to both player and listener.

Gladiolus:   Another quiet piece, and obviously a favourite of  F.C. Musselbrook, a very musicianly zither-banjoist.    He was a friend of Morley, and a fellow-member of The London Banjo Club.   His copy of the original was used for the publication of this piece.

 

Graceful Dance:    As its name implies, a pleasant dance, in the style of a 1920’s foxtrot, and not difficult to play.

* Hoe Down: Very different from the foxtrot!  A typical plantation dance, and great fun to play.  Not the one in Morley’s Tutor.

Joette:   A very short piece in the style of a gavotte, originally printed in the May 1972 issue of ‘B.M.G.’

 

* Kentucky Days:   A foot-tapping piece, the third section is based on the old song ‘Bury Me Beneath the Willow’. 

 Kiddie’s Scamper:   A typical example of Morley’s output and, as the title suggests, a bright, lively piece.

Limerick Races:   The six-eight time-signature sets the scene, although the pace is not excessive.    Another Morley winner !

 Mazeppa:    Definitely one of Morley’s difficult solos, but a piece for all players to try, if only to improve their technique!

 

*Mister Punch:    Broadcast by the Kentucky Minstrels Banjo Team about sixty years ago, this is one of Morley’s finest solos.

Musketeer’s March:   This solo was also known as ‘Thumb and Fingertricks’, but as it is such a rousing march, it was decided to publish it under this title.

Mystery Rag:  A fine banjo Rag, although it has now been established that Morley did not write it.   The manuscript, which is headed ‘M.S.’  could well be his but, like many others, does not bear his name.  It seems to be a medley of Rags, probably compiled by Vess Osman.  

*Olympian March:   This is a fine example of a Morley March, and is not too difficult if played at this speed.   The composer would have rattled it off at a much faster tempo.

Pep:   A bright sounding piece with an attractive melody in the first section. 

 

 Pepper and Salt:   Another piece which incorporates the tune known as ‘Bury Me Beneath the Willow’; this time with three versions of the main melody. 

Pepperpot Parade:   This piece has a typical fourth string melody in the third section and is not difficult if played at a reasonable march tempo. 

Pierrots Parade:   The manuscript of this solo has no title, but it is the kind of piece used as a ‘parade’ by minstrel troupes and concert parties of the period when Morley himself played in a Pierrot troupe. 

Polka in F:   Subtitled ‘The Twiddly Polka’, this distinguishes it from the ‘Polka de Concert’ which is also in F.  This is one of the composer’s showpieces, especially when played at speed. 

Pongo’s Parade:   Most of this piece can be heard on the Neophone CD, where, with the title ‘Concert March’, it is played by Morley himself at a tremendous speed.   The second section of ‘Concert March’ is different from the one recorded here, and shows how Morley changed the content of unpublished pieces over the years.

Popinjay Polka:   The manuscript of this solo shows the title in Morley’s writing, unlike many of his MSS. which have blank headings.   This is not an easy piece.

*Pussyfoot Parade:   One of Morley’s best marches, and played by the Kentucky Minstrels Banjo Team in the 1940’s.   It is interesting to note that it was so highly regarded, although it was unpublished, and therefore not available to banjoists. 

Rosemary:   A quiet piece, with a beautiful melody in the first section, similar in style to his ‘Gavotte’ on Disc One.

Rubiana:   There are some good tunes in this piece, which has a pleasant, gentle rhythm.   It is not difficult to play.

 

Skibbereen:   Although the introduction and first section are almost the same as ‘A Banjo Frolic’, there is a very Irish flavour to the rest of the piece.

Solo ‘A’:   Another bright tuneful piece, with a publisher’s temporary  title, but never published.

* Step Lively:   This is another unpublished solo played some time in the 1940’s by the Kentucky Minstrels Banjo Team and, as the title suggests, a lively march.

Sunbeam Sand Dance:   Judging from the title, Morley wrote this solo some time in the late 1800’s when this type of piece was common.

Swan Dance:   One of Morley’s tuneful solos which is not very difficult to play.  

T.V. Tattoo:   Not an easy piece !   The first section is very similar to Morley’s ‘Blackbird’, recorded by him in 1912. 

* The Leprechaun:   Another lively solo, originally untitled, with an Irish flavour to the tunes. 

Waltz:   Morley manages to avoid a strict three-in-the-bar throughout the piece by introducing a Spanish sound to the fourth section.

* These titles are now available as sheet music in the 'Tablature and Notation' Series, published by Clifford Essex Music Co., Ltd.    Other pieces recorded on these discs will be added in the near future. 

 P&P to UK destinations: £1.00.   Other destinations: £5.00 (airmail)

 BMG - Founded by Clifford Essex in 1903.

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