Jelly Roll Morton
in Los Angeles, 1918
Shown left to right are:
Shep Allen, unknown, J. Chavez and Jelly Roll Morton.
At the time Shep Allen managed the Panama Trio, which consisted of Florence Mills, Ada “Bricktop” Smith and Cora Green, and Morton was their piano player. They worked at the Cadillac Café on Central Avenue, Los Angeles and toured the Coast on the Pantages circuit. Shep Allen had been a theatre manager before and in later years he managed night clubs as well as theatres. Those nightclubs included the Sunset and the DeLuxe in Chicago.
J. Chavez was from Chicago and he was not a performer. Nothing is known about the fourth man in the picture. The car might be the same as the one in another photograph taken around 1920, with Morton and another person standing next to it.
This photograph was first published in the Jazz Journal magazine, dated February 1963, Vol. 16, No. 2, page 10. 
Shown in Mr. Jelly Lord (1980) by Laurie Wright, page 205, and in Oh, Mister Jelly (1999) edited by William Russell, page 391.
courtesy of Ate van Delden
© 2004 Ate van Delden Collection