Music

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.…

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The 25th Anniversary Remastered Edition of Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now is pure energy with its screaming and thumping grooves that mimic the happy-go-lucky attitude of the city. It slows down a bit with a…

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Jazz Playground from Putumayo Kids is a fun, upbeat collection that will keep both kiddies and adults smiling. New Orleans artist Ingrid Lucia’s beautiful “This Little Light of Mine” is a standout; introduce the wee ones to live music with…

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PRESERVATION: An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall and The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program is the kind of CD you should enjoy when picking up your Mardi Gras guests at Louis Armstrong Airport. Nineteen perfectly charming tracks by the Preservation…

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Do not be scared: take the Plunge into jazz with this second project by New Orleans artists Tim Green on sax, Mark McGrain on trombone and James Singleton on bass. Dancing on Thin Ice includes 11 tracks composed by McGrain…

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The must-have Christmas album of 2009 is Kermit Ruffins’ Have A Crazy Cool Christmas! There are 11 classic tunes given some spice by Ruffins, Neal Caine, Matt Lemmler and Herlin Riley, with special guests Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Irvin Mayfield…

WILLIAM FERRIS’ SOUTH

In 1993, New Orleans Museum of Art put on a grand folk art exhibition called “Passionate Visions” and invited William Ferris, a founder of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss, to give a lecture. Ferris’…

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20 hits on Joint’s Jumpin’, based off of the taped-live local show at Harrah’s, will have you singing and shaking your booty in no time. New Orleans rhythm-and-blues classics such as “Tell It Like It Is” and “Blueberry Hill” are…

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A student of the guitar since his very early years, Charles Moore has arrived at master status. His pretty Classical Guitar, Vol. 1 is his latest contribution in a lifetime of musical accomplishments. The 2009 New Orleans Magazine Jazz All-Star…

Techno Fallout and Sweet Sorrow

As the Internet tightens its chokehold on music commerce, more labels go down, more musicians scramble to get promotion, and stores that carry CDs in good volume achieve, by their rarity, a certain beauty. The federal bailout for automotive producers…

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New Orleans Jazz Hall of Fame member Leroy Jones has released Sweeter Than A Summer Breeze, a collection of slightly heartbreaking romantic ballads. The album features three original compositions (“Katrina,” “Life Is Not Always Fair” and the title track) by…

What Satchmo wrote

Genius in artistry is a fine mystery regardless of its practitioner. Why do Duke Ellington’s compositions and Jane Austen’s novels have such staying power, whereas countless of their creative peers left works long forgotten?At the risk of putting myself on…

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Trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard’s new album, Choices, due for release Aug. 18, juxtaposes his last album, A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina), with music stemming from survival rather than destruction. The album was recorded in the…

Glen David Andrews and the public square

Citizenship in the holy city of New Orleans is a tough proposition even on days without politicians acting as termites to our fragile state of race relations. You ask: Why call this outback of democracy a “holy city?” I answer:…

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Trumpeter and vocalist Jeremy Davenport brings St. Louis swing down to Basin Street with his newest release, We’ll Dance ’Til Dawn. The album is a mix of standards, such as the sprightly rendition of “The Lady is a Tramp,” and…

One more time

The title of the CD to my left  this morning is quite a run-on, but in the interest of accuracy here goes: Preservation Hall Jazz Band: New Orleans Preservations, Volume 1. If you don’t have enough preservation in your cultural…

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This band started out at as the “love-child” of two couples, Michael Stephens and Aubre Bauer, and Brittney Maddox and John Martin. The group added an electric bass (Jordan West) and drums (Jeremy Hayes) to the mix and the double-couple…