Composer-pianist Jelly Roll Morton may have been too insistent that he invented jazz to be charming, but the likable Vernel Bagneris, who portrays him, sings smoothly and does some sinuous dancing.
He and Morten Gunnar Larsen, a pianist with lightning fingers and early jazz in his soul, have made a charming off-Broadway evening of "Jelly Roll!"The production, subtitled "the Music and the Man," has had two successful jazz club runs here. It's even more effective at the 47th Street Theater.
Compared with "Jelly's Last Jam," previously on Broadway, there is more of Morton's music in this show.