Thomas Morris (musician)

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For other people named Thomas Morris, see Thomas Morris (disambiguation).

Thomas Morris (August 30, 1897 – 1945)[1] was an American jazz cornetist. Born in New York in 1898, jazz critic Scott Yanow noted that Morris's primitive style was "an excellent example of how New York brass players sounded before the rise of Louis Armstrong."[2] Morris' many recordings include dates with Clarence Williams, Charlie Johnson, Fats Waller and many jazz and blues singers including Mamie Smith, Eva Taylor and Sippie Wallace. His most notable dates were with his band, the Seven Hot Babies, resulting in eight songs in 1923 and ten in 1926.[2] For a time, Morris served as a porter at Grand Central Station. In the last few years of his life, Morris became associated with Father Divine's strict religious movement, changing his name to Brother Pierre.[2] Sidney Bechet recalled an encounter with Morris in a radio interview with Wynne Paris, stating "I happened to be walking down 132nd Street near Seventh Avenue when I saw Thomas Morris, and I was tickled to death to see him. I say, 'Hello Thomas.' He said, 'Not no more. I'm St. Peter.' I said, 'You might be St. Peter to Father Divine, but you're Thomas Morris to me.'"[3]

Morris died in 1945 in California.[1] He was the uncle of pianist Marlowe Morris.


  1. ^ a b - accessed July 2010
  2. ^ a b c Yanow, Scott. Trumpet Kings: The Players Who Shaped the Sound of Jazz Trumpet. Page 270. Backbeat Books, 2001.
  3. ^ Chilton, John. Sidney Bechet: The Wizard of Jazz. Page 132. Da Capo Press, 1996.

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