The notion of blues music bubbling up from plantations in Mississippi is upended by "Jelly Roll Blues," which Jelly Roll Morton published in 1915, but had been performing for years in his native New Orleans and around the country, including New York City.
Unlike the dour, primitive blues commonly associated as the origin of the genre, this song is upbeat and lively. As Chris Thomas King explains
in The Blues: The Authentic Narrative of My Music and Culture
, "'Jelly Roll Blues,' was snappy feel-good blues. New Orleans blues arrangements had creative catchy musical introductions. Morton's expression of the form danced around the 12-bar formula instead of becoming a slave to it. After all, the whole idea of blues was freedom of expression."