Friday, November 20, 2009

NolaFunk Lagniappe

In Pursuit of Bo-Consciousness - Part 6


While his brief first fling running his own labels wound down without financial rewards, Eddie Bo continued working on projects for other labels, as the opportunities arose. In 1964, as discussed in Part 4, he had been involved with a Johnny Adams single for Gone and wrote the A-side of Tommy Ridgley's great Johen 45. Also that year, he connected with a new label in town, Nola Records, started by Ulis Gaines, Clinton Scott, Beryl 'Whurley Burley' Eugene, as well as producer/arrangerWardell Quezergue, who had worked on the Johen record. Just getting the operation off the ground and looking for good material to release, they enlisted Bo, who quickly cut two of his own tunes for them.

In Jazz, as in Life, Choices

The animated Disney film "The Princess and the Frog," which is set in New Orleans and opens later this month, will introduce theatergoers to a trumpet-playing alligator named Louis. The namesake should be clear: Louis Armstrong. But the horn's sound? Terence Blanchard, another Crescent City native son, playing music composed by Randy Newman.
[                    ccblanchard                ] Terry Shoffner

It will be just the latest translation of Mr. Blanchard's identity to the big screen. His was the trumpet behind Denzel Washington's character in Spike Lee's "Mo' Better Blues." And he was the tuxedoed bandleader at a re-created Onyx Club in Mr. Lee's "Malcolm X." Mr. Blanchard, the musical voice of Mr. Lee's films for nearly two decades, has scored more than 50 films overall, including Darnell Martin's recent "Cadillac Records" and George Lucas's forthcoming production "Red Tails."

Meanwhile, Mr. Blanchard's work on bandstands and recordings has distinguished him, at 47, as among the boldest and most successful inheritors of Armstrong's trumpet tradition. When his quintet kicked off Carnegie Hall's "Shape of Jazz" series last week, the placement seemed apt; his music, which has earned three Grammy Awards in the past five years, is elemental to the contours of modern jazz.

OffBeat Magazine, the Louisiana and New Orleans online music resource, unveils a redesigned Web site at A fresh new look, more content on the front page, and better navigation. They also add video and podcasts to the arsenal.

OffBeat is a monthly print magazine focusing on the music, cuisine and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. Its first issue was printed in 1988.

The new site is located at

Derrick Tabb: The Drummer’s Roots

Ever since the levees broke, people have been stepping up all over the Gulf Coast region to help rebuild and renew. Derrick Tabb, snare drummer for Rebirth Brass Band, is the latest local hero to be recognized on the national level for his commitment to our community. As the founder of the Roots of Music program, Tabb has been named by CNN’s panel of humanitarians as a top-10 candidate for the 3rd annual CNN Hero award. Roots of Music is a 3-hour, after-school program that provides more than 100 local students free music classes, in addition to academic tutoring before and dinner after. During Voodoo, the Roots of Music Marching Band will perform daily.

Rock City Morgue, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (Castle Gray Skull)


Rock City Morgue has generally traded on a version of New York-based, B-movie-oriented punk rock for much of its career, and done so well. Building songs around ghosts, ghouls and creepy things seems a little quaint in the age of Hostel and after a generation of darker gothic bands, but post-New York Dolls rock ’n’ roll is durable stuff.

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf is an across-the-board step forward. Punk and ’70s hard rock and current metal all show up in the sound, and guitarist Johnny Brashear makes it all seem obvious. Bassist Sean Yseult plays more piano than ever before, but instead of signaling a change to a more Nick Cave-ish mode, her piano’s better integrated into the songs, often pounding out high notes in the rockers. In “Creepin’ in the Dark,” un-punk-like bongos add a percolating chug.

Plunge: Dancing on Thin Ice

nov 09 reviews plunge

For the first time in 13 years, trombonist Marc McGrain has convened a group of musicians to record an album under the moniker Plunge. In the mid-‘90s, McGrain, then a Boston resident, helmed Plunge’s 1996 release Falling with Grace, a heady, groove-heavy expedition that garnered significant acclaim in the jazz world. This time around, McGrain, now a New Orleans denizen, recruited saxophonist Tim Green and bassist James Singleton to participate in a unique session, one rooted in improvisation and recorded live at McGrain’s home studio with little to no prior rehearsal. Titled Dancing on Thin Ice, the album is exhilarating,post-bop fare suffused with tight, interlocking melodies and cool, nimble grooves.

Leading Musicians Donate Talents to ‘Forgotten but Not Gone,’ New CD Benefiting Gulf Coast Residents Still Displaced by Hurricane Katrina

Luther Kent - The Bobby Bland Songbook

Luther Kent has been around a long time. The last time he made a major impact coast to coast was the mid-70s fronting Blood, Sweat, and Tears. In the 80s, Kent formed Trick Bag, which was a famed house band in the Crescent City that's played with a who's who of big name musicians. Needless to say, not many folks know of Luther Kent outside of New Orleans. . Together with Wardell Quezergue arranging a crack band of New Orleans musicians, Kent puts his spin on several well-known R&B and blues warhorses.

What you get here is a veteran vocalist having fun belting his favorite tunes like you would hear him do on a band stand any given night or probably singing around his house. The album has a unique laid back quality to it that only "the Big Easy" could bring. This album also, with its many New Orleans musicians partaking (including Dr. John on keys for a few tunes), shows a great linear quality of early R&B and urban electric blues leanings towards jazz (example "St. James Infirmary").

Composer Randy Newman and the Classic Sounds of New Orleans Celebrated on New Walt Disney Records Soundtrack The Princess and the Frog

Lillian Boutte: New Orleans Musical Ambassador

In 1986 LILLIAN was honoured by her city with the official title of 'Musical Ambassador' which had not been bestowed on a New Orleans musician since the world famous Louis Armstrong. LILLIAN has been compared with the legendary female voices of Jazz music as Bessie Smith, Dinah Washington, Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson and she has had the unique distinction of being one of the only performers to wear two different 'hats' at the Jazz & Heritage Festival by performing in the Jazz- and the Gospel categories in the same year. She has performed and can be heard on recordings with legendary music greats as Jay Mc Shane, Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Milt Hinton, Gus Johnson, Sammy Price, Doc Cheatham, Arnett Cobb, Al Casey, Dr. John, Benny Waters, Danny Barker, Professor Longhair , Clark Terry and with England's trumpet great Humphrey Lyttelton.

Sudan and Versatile Ladies of Style SA&PC Second Line

Photos :: A Look Around New Orleans | Travel -

November in the Crescent City brings pleasantly cool temperatures and the heart of oyster season. The city's classic restaurants are doing brisk business and eclectic shopping abounds, especially along the Magazine Street corridor.

[1105nola01] Commander's Palace

Though many new and notable restaurants have opened around town, the Commander's Palace remains in a category of its own. Its luminous Garden Room is one of the prettiest dining venues in the country, and the service is always clockwork efficient and friendly.

A week's worth of reflection over a weekend of Voodoo

I needed some good ole New Orleans music and headed over to the Preservation Jazz Hall tent and caught the end of Leroy Jones five piece band doing “Big Fat Woman.” One of Louisiana’s best drummers, Doug Belote, was on drums with a female trombone player. The audience in that tent was alive, all on their feet dancing to the sweet jazzy sounds. Sadly I only managed to catch that last song so after leaving the Gogol Bordello set I made my way back to the next act at that tent for Walter Wolfman and the Dirty Dozen Horn section. This was an impressive line up made up of New Orleans all stars including Walter Wolfman himself, Jack Cruz on bass, Jimmy Carpenter on sax, Christian Duque on guitar and the Dirty Dozen Horn section. There really isn’t much to say about this line up other than WOW. Although the ground in the tent was really muddy, this didn’t hinder one bit the spirits of the packed house in the Pres Tent. Walter looked very dapper in his Blue Attire (which matched his electric blue guitar) and Jack Cruz was dressed in sync with him also as he wore blue as well. The band had a total of five horns which made it a huge powerhouse.

Routes Music rewind, New Orleans: Living Room Studio, Lovie Dovies, the Blackbelt Band

Routes Music is a documentary film acting as a roving music census, taking in the true musical passions (and disgusts) of the American people. We’re traveling all across the country, stopping along the way to interview local bands, take footage of live performances and chat with anyone and everyone. Learn more about the documentary here; check out all previous entries here.

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