JAZZ: Celebrate the season with the new Christmas CD by ward-winning trumpeter and bandleader, Irvin Mayfield. A New Orleans Creole Christmas marks Mayfield’s first album of holiday music. Holiday classics, such as “O Tannenbaum – O Christmas Tree” and a gospel-inspired “Silent Night,” as well as modern versions of favorites such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” all were recorded at Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse on Bourbon Street.
NEW ORLEANS: Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by historian Gary Krist offers a peek into the scandalous history of the local elite’s fight to reform the Crescent City. This page-turner traipses through the rise and fall of the Storyville red light district, tackles Mafia tales and recounts the murderous path of a violent serial killer, the Axeman of New Orleans. During a reading at Octavia Books, Krist discussed the serious history and research that went into the book, citing his close work with the Historic New Orleans Collection. “The city’s elite tried to normalize New Orleans,” Krist said during his talk. “They tried to make it respectable, and we all know how that turned out.”
COOKING: Jilly Lagasse and Jessie Lagasse Swanson’s new cookbook, The Lagasse Girls’: Big Flavor Bold Taste and No Gluten, is the sisters’ second book about gluten-free cooking. The book features gluten-free versions of childhood favorites, as well as recipes from their famous dad, Emeril Lagasse. It is a thoughtful gift for loved ones living with celiac or gluten-sensitivity.
LOCAL RADIO: Images Of America: New Orleans Radio, the latest book by executive producer and special projects director at WWL-TV Dominic Massa, is perfect for the radio history buff on your gift list. Loaded with more than 200 vintage images, get the scoop on New Orleans’ original radio stations.