He was a fine clarinetist, but his true art form was storytelling. Man, could he talk, about the people he'd known, places he'd gone, things he'd seen and done. His stories tended to blossom like flowers as further details, you know, came to him. His friends all knew this, and just enjoyed the show.
I was thinking of him watching the political coverage from Washington. I videotaped a 2.5 hour interview with Joe in 1982, which I later transcribed and published in the journal New Orleans Music. Talking of Jelly Roll Morton, another great musician and great, err, storyteller, Joe said:
Well, Jelly was a great prevaricator, or liar to be exact.
We need phrases like this in modern political discourse.