Music

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Irvin Mayfield recently released a memoir of sorts, A Love Letter to New Orleans (see below), though the final product is part photo-essay and all about the music. The songs that correspond to the book were released in an accompanying…

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New York writer Dan Baum penned a post-Hurricane Katrina narrative in 2009 called Nine Lives, a novel that chronicled nine individuals recovering from the hurricane. Composer Paul Sanchez and screenwriter Colman deKay saw potential in the musical themes of the…

Restaurant Insider

Profane Scottish chef Gordon Ramsay  brought his Kitchen Nightmares reality show to the area recently to re-work local eatery Zeke’s (1515 Metairie Road). The result is a stripped-down menu that keeps focus on local ingredients and recipes, but adds a…

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Bluegrass and jazz come together in American Legacies, a collaboration between the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Del McCoury Band. Even the album’s song titles illustrate the marriage of the genres, with such tracks as “Jambalaya” and “Shoeshine Blues.”…

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CD – North Carolina native Seth Kauffman made his way onto the radar of New Orleans record label Park the Van with his first album, Research, released under his own name, before adopting the pseudonym Floating Action for a self-titled…

Music: Where the Continuum Takes Us

Alvin Batiste, the late clarinetist and influential educator, considered jazz “a continuum.” By that he meant the music made by artists of the past casts an instrumental language into a flow of time that gathers the best work of younger…

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CD –– With Cassandra Wilson’s latest jazz album, Silver Pony, she had a tough act to follow: herself. Wilson won a Grammy award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for 2008’s Loverly, along with other accolades, so her newest project had…

Dave Bartholomew goes to the Rock Hall

Long before we got hammered by Hurricane Katrina, Cleveland beat out New Orleans as the site for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. No one paid me to say this, but it’s a good thing Cleveland won. The Rock Hall,…

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The old adage “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t apply in the case of these educators. The Professors of Pleasure: Tulane University Faculty Band, Volume Two, presented by John Doheny, a collaboration of Tulane University Jazz Performance…

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Putumayo World Music, founded by New Orleanian Dan Storper, is now a worldwide effort to embrace all musical stylings and cultures. The organization features artists from throughout the world. Its latest release is World Christmas Party, a compilation of Latin,…

ELDER UTAH SMITH

The hard times and resurrection ministry of Elder Utah Smith is a tale of epic strivings. In times such as these, when organized religion takes a heavy battering from internal scandals and prolific atheists, Smith’s life opens a window on…

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Long gone are the days of 1960s psychedelic rock and the British invasion – or so we thought. New Orleanian AM recently released his debut album Future Sons & Daughters, the Abbey Road Studios-mastered vinyl edition of which was made…

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Amanda Shaw’s well-rounded Good Southern Girl updates the fiddler’s fans of her growth on the stage and in life; she just “made” 20 and it’s apparent as she belts out “One Night Stand.” Upbeat and saucy – like the star…

Seguenon Koné and Ensemble Fatien

The first time I saw Dr. Michael White perform in an African dashiki, I had to smile. The clarinetist renowned for his robust New Orleans-style melodies typically wears the coat and tie of a traditional jazzman. But on the afternoon…

Harold Battiste, a jazz man of letters

In the many years that musicians have enriched my life with interviews, certain phrases purr in my memory coves, including the day Allen Toussaint told me matter-of-factly “the city has a B-flat hum; it’s there, you can hear it.” What…

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Give back to the city’s music community while treating yourself to Music Redeems, a live album featuring Ellis, Branford, Wynton, Ellis III, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis along with friends Harry Connick Jr., Eric Revis on bass and Herlin Riley on…

Summertime and A Need For Danny Barker

To loyal readers of this column I must confide that my soundtrack has turned to Danny Barker since the beginning of the disaster in thg Gulf. Everyone needs an uplifting moment in this heat with threatening ecological dread. The balladeer…

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The lovely Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue soothe and please us with Set Two; it’s a toe-tapping album with 13 tracks, two of which were penned by the Gal (Vanessa Niemann) and Honky Tonkers Dave Brouillette and Dave…

Dirges for the Olympia

The end of a brass band clashes with the very tradition it embodies, the flow of life as musicians fill the ranks of those who pass away. Thus do second lines roll on. Jazz funerals in recent years have become…

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Big Sam’s Funky Nation’s King of the Party is an energetic fourth album that adds more jazz, rock and hip hop to the group’s already awesome repertoire of funk. Leader Big Sam Williams is one with his trombone; his cocky…

IN “THE CONTINUUM”

Echoes of Miles Davis are not quite everywhere in the surreal poetics of Christian Scott’s horn play. But the young trumpeter on the Concord Jazz label is an instrumental voice clearly inspired by Miles’s post-bop ensemble style. On his new…

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Trumpeter Christian Scott brings us an intricately beautiful and psychologically heavy album as his latest gift to contemporary jazz. Yesterday You Said Tomorrow also features guitarist Matthew Stevens, pianist Milton Fletcher Jr., bassist Kristopher Keith Funn and drummer Jamire Williams.…