A Closer Walk

See what happens when good people get together over music? They come up with something like this, a site dedicated to listing the musical history of our city, place by place.

Jazz, big band, gospel, soul, brass bands, funk, blues, second-lines, hip-hop, bounce, r&b, pop, zydeco, rock, classical all have substantial roots here in the Crescent City. This site will do more than just set tourists to a wandering around; as a visual map, it can help save some of these places and to connect the dots about the development of some of America’s greatest art forms.

The A Closer Walk (ACW) project and site is presented by WWOZ New Orleans and produced by five partners: Bent Media, e/Prime Media, the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation, Randy Fertel and WWOZ.

https://acloserwalknola.com/

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Tropical Peops

I’ve known Earl and Pam since around the time that they began at the World’s Fair. My mother and her husband (and later my brother) were daily attendees of the Deja Vu when they owned it and we all spent time at the Decatur Gator in the 1980s too. I still pop in to catch some local musicians at the little TI on Bourbon every once in a while, and the Grapevine is quite a good place to get a glass of wine and to experience (read smell and taste) the bacon happy hour.

I also know folks who live very close to the flagship bar at Orleans and Bourbon who told me that TI is a very good neighbor to have which is a huge compliment in the Quarter from any resident.

Pam and Earl are a classic example of one type of entrepreneur that the French Quarter attracts. It is not the millennial hipster we get here but the savvy seasoned business person who can handle the chaos and the demands of operating in the Quarter. (I wrote about that a little in a post I did comparing the Quarter to the Cincinnati neighborhood of Over-The-Rhine. )

 

As for their real claim to fame, I recently remarked to a friends that the Grenade has clearly outpaced the Hurricane as the favorite drink for tourists, based on the number of them that I see in the hands of sweaty, drunken visitors. Maybe it’s time for a craft artist to create a sculpture out of the glasses- maybe a life-sized gator to mark it’s prominence?

Pam is constantly roaming the Quarter and always up for a chat so keep an eye out for her and say hello.

Jazz In The Park Thursday September 24

unnamed-14:00 to 5:00 Happy Hour featuring DJ and $3 beers & $5 mix drinks
5:00 to 6:15 The Free Agent Brass Band with Sudan Social Aide and Pleasure Club
6:15 to 6:30 Intermission Mixer featuring DJ RQAWAY
6:30 to 7:50 Russell Batiste and Friends featuring the Wild 
Tchoupitoulas Posse
7:50 to 8:05 Mixer DJ RQAWAT 

Night concerts during JazzFest

This, obviously, will be amazing:
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic with DJ Soul Sister
Sunday at House of Blues (225 Decatur St., 504-310-4999; http://www.houseofblues.com. Tickets $40.)

and this:
1913-2013 Orchestra
Bassist, composer and eclectic experimenter James Singleton leads his 1913-2013 Orchestra through an improvisational set exploring New Orleans music across a century. Joining the symphony are trumpeter Satoru Ohashi, saxophonist Rex Gregory, drummer Justin Peake, trombonist Rick Trolsen and guitarist Chris Alford. The orchestra performs at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center 7 p.m. Friday (1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 504-827-5858; http://www.zeitgeistinc.net. Tickets $15 general admission, $10 Zeitgeist members).

more here:

http://www.bestofneworleans.com/gambit/night-concerts-during-jazz-fest/Content?oid=2189237

a few more listed here:

http://www.wwltv.com/story/entertainment/2015/04/21/5-evening-shows-to-see-the-first-weekend-of-jazz-fest/26083689/

Rickie Lee Jones among us

One of the greatest and most consistently valiant musicians working today, Rickie Lee Jones, is living  in New Orleans and recording a new album. As the proud owner of 8 or 9 regularly played RLJ albums and a downtown resident, I am thrilled by this news. She funded it on PledgeMusic and so we have the extra advantage of her online updates which are a marvel of insight and clarity about navigating the complicated and modern world of performance and collaboration. I hope she doesn’t mind me posting one of her updates, but I think it is so very gentle and brave and illuminated by the light of our city, that I thought many of you would also be warmed by it too:
Her words:

Now we enter the last week of John Porter being here in New Orleans. He is a hard working man, and his knowledge and experience are, well, awesome. He’s also a gentleman, and he hugs me a lot.
We changed rooms yesterday and now are bearing down on some details of tracks we’ve chosen. He is a old school guy, that is, he does Everything by Himself, and you would not know what he did, only that things sound better. That has been a bit of a challenge for me, for I am used to, for so long, not only being a part of it, monitoring it, but being in charge of it. I am NOT in charge. I have some veto power, but even then it’s… more of a negotiation than an absolute. That has been a challenge for me as well. I cannot tell if it’s a girl thing, a Rickie thing, or just a wise thing. Or misguided, that I do not say, “hey wait a minute, slow down, let me see what’s going on!”

We are on a rollercoaster of events here and I’d just like to process it with my aesthetic. Slanted, not capital. But that’s not what’s going on this time. And it’s beyond me, why no matter what record I make there is a hurry up aspect to it. I realize now how very ‘princess’ I was making Pirates. My producers going where I wanted, when I wanted, waiting hours for me, working on passages with me, small groups of moments I wanted to get right. And they made sure I did what I envisioned.

Well, in 1982 that record cost $250,000. I don’t have that kind of money as a company or as a person to do that anymore. But I suspect if I did that again, spent that kind of money and time, I would make a very unusual event. And yet, reading about the creation of the universe this morning, I realize that no one can control the creative event. The event, the verb, is a form of I AM, it is a HERE, ICI, now, the manifestation. It moves at the pace it moves at, from one perspective perhaps it takes two years, from another two weeks. Great records have been made in a couple weeks. Those are about catching the spirit of the singer. And budget. Great records have been tedious and long in the waiting. Those are about the expression of the artist, like a flood, upon every aspect of the manifestation. There are places in our lives where our ego cannot only withstand that, but demands it. Other times we are just too humble or worn out to extend our self onto everyone we meet. Or…too wise.

At this point in my life, I know a couple things. And the things are always changing, because you wake up every day, and sometimes the universe is a bit different than the one you went to sleep in. Ever notice that? I do. The couple things I know are that I DO know what I am doing. I have doubt when I am with men who treat me like they are tolerating me, or like they really wish I would be quiet. I work almost exclusively with men, and musicians, and that’s a group that can be extremely critical, dismissive, whatever. For the most part, I have their respect, but add on now my ‘age’ and I get a kind of ‘old darlin’ attitude that’s hard to bare. And then again, I may totally be projecting my own self image onto the face of someone. Okay, that’s doubt, all that is doubt.

The other thing I know is that others have something to offer me. What makes life worthwhile is being in the world full of others, and I know this now. I want to listen more than I want to be listened to. This is my moment to sing, and I will sing to you all that I have heard. Here are my feelings carved through the images and sounds of trains and rivers, how they speak to one another all night long when we who live near them can hear them clearly. The crow and the mockingbird, hard to tell that mockingbird sounds like the crow, the light through my old windows, my determination, my despair, my love of humans.

What I most want is for this music to make people happy, to lift their hearts, and to make me lots and lots of dough, in that order. I believe it is going to be a record I am proud of. I hope that my tiny infrastructure of the four or five of us who work on my career can make it fly. It’s going to take a lot of good will and effort from fans, I think. That’s the kind of thing kids do automatically for their fav group. But we get older, we don’t do that anymore. This is a word-of-mouth kind of business now, and more than ever, fans are going to have to take a second to make sure someone else hears it. If they do, I bet they will like it a lot. One thing for certain, the New Orleans aspect has washed out any affectation. It’s streaming through my own filters, I am not dressing it in the style of. There is no pretense here in the Crescent City. People really are wearing animal masks and dancing with umbrellas. Like Tahiti! We ARE our Music.