NON-FICTION: Brought to life in color by the Historic New Orleans Collection, A Life in Jazz by Danny Barker was originally released in 1986. Today, the illustrated edition includes three new passages previously unpublished due to space constraints. The materials provided by the original editor, Alyn Shipton, include Barker’s memoirs from recording some timeless New Orleans jazz classics. A great gift for any aspiring musician and music teacher, this vibrant edition of A Life in Jazz tells the history of a legend and his influence over New Orleans. It touches on the deep cultural origins of jazz funerals, the battle of bands on the streets of the French Quarter and photos provided by the Historic New Orleans Collection. In many ways, this is a wonderful book to learn how New Orleans also shaped the life of Barker, and the musicians that he worked with whom and soon followed suit. (Read more here)
FICTION: A dark story of passion and revenge, Blackwell is an erotic creation authored by New Orleans native Alexandria Weis, and Lucas Astor. With the action sequences taking place on the soggy soil of Bayou St. John and cobblestone roads of the French Quarter in the late 19th century, this book explores voodoo, the inspiration for Oscar Wilde’s A Picture of Dorian Grey and the fatal results after succumbing to lust, envy, pride, greed and wrath. The main character, Magnus Blackwell, enters a Faustian pact and fails to take the power of his sins seriously, resulting in tragedy and vindication for a bloody revenge. A guilty-pleasure read that kept me captivated knowing something sinister is looming in the plot and over the characters. Blackwell offers a semi-painful climax (the good kind) at just the right time. If you have a new year resolution to read more books, this is a great one to knock out in a few days.
JAZZ: Turn back time to the days when nearly every bar and hot music club in the city played smooth tunes and soulful vocalists on stage. While Timeless, a new album dropped by Eva and Louis Tribute Band, was officially released in spring, the impassioned mix resurfaced on my radar after being considered for a 2017 Grammy nomination. Featuring vocals from Eileina Dennis and Kid Chocolate, influential New Orleanians such as Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis also had a hand in its release. Timeless stays true to its name, holding on to the authentic voice resonating from New Orleans for the last century.
Please send submissions for consideration, attention:
Jessica DeBold, 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005.