Thursday, May 31, 2012

Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ Symphony Space

To all the hip New Yorkers and neighboring Pres Hall cats (katz). The Preservation Hall Jazz Band are making their returning visit to your Eastern metropolis since their devastating 50th Anniversary performance at Carnegie Hall, which was this past January.

Our only question is...
JOIN the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (#PHJB) on Broadway at the Symphony Space on JUNE 13th (8PM) and experience the magic only found in the BIG EASY!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: New Orleans Piano Kings @ Lincoln Center

Ellis Marsalis, Henry Butler, Jonathan Batiste
New Orleans Piano Kings
Jazz at Lincoln Center: Allen Room
New York, NY
May 11, 2012

Ellis Marsalis, Henry Butler, Jonathan Batiste:  New York, May 11, 2012
"A young lion, a seasoned veteran, and an elder statesman"—that's how drummer Herlin Riley introduced the three stellar pianists featured in Jazz at Lincoln Center's "New Orleans Piano Kings": Jonathan Batiste, Henry Butler, and Ellis Marsalis, respectively. Riley, who hails from New Orleans himself and could also be labeled a "seasoned veteran," served as MC, accompanist, and musical director for the concert. Bassist Reginald Veal, who has deep roots in the Crescent City as well, rounded out the musical personnel.

Jazz at Lincoln Center offered a festive, New Orleans atmosphere before the show, hosting a celebration in the lobby outside the doors of its Allen Room. The lively party was replete with a gumbo cook- off, cold beer, and live music by the Red Hook Ramblers, a Brooklyn-based band that plays traditional New Orleans-style jazz.

Jonathan Batiste, the "young lion," was the first pianist on stage. Following a playful, introductory musical treat "Riddle Rhythms," with Riley and Veal alone, Batiste sat at the piano and gave a tongue-in- cheek, detailed description of his plans for the blues he was about to play, "Bunk Man Shoes." He said he'd include an impressionist section that would bring Debussy to mind, a ballroom-like segment, and triplet rhythms á la Ray Charles. He paused, almost ready to play, and then, faintly but distinctly, we all heard the tinkling sound of the ringtone from a cell phone somewhere in the audience. He paused a moment more, and then began his performance by delicately repeating the ringtone on the piano, perfectly copying pitch and rhythm, incorporating it as the principal musical motif in the introduction to this blues and making it sound as if the riff itself was the height of musical artistry. Batiste's playing lived up to his description, and he added a good deal more as he displayed great technique and a wide range of nuanced colorings and textures, inventively evoking Jelly Roll Morton and other great New Orleans pianists both on "Bunk Man Shoes," and his following number, "Kindergarten," an original composition based in part on "Sweet Georgia Brown."

Ellis Marsalis was next on the program, and Riley introduced him appropriately as the "patriarch of New Orleans jazz." Batiste joined Marsalis on his first two selections, the pair of pianists facing each other on the matching Steinway concert grinds nested in closely together on stage against the Allen Room's breathtaking view of Manhattan. For Ellington's "In My Solitude," the two played together unaccompanied; the drums and bass came back for "Love for Sale," with Riley adding in an Ahmad-Jamal-like groove at one point. Marsalis then took the spotlight by himself, with beautiful ballad playing on "The Very Thought of You," steeped as much in the language of classic modern jazz as the musical traditions of New Orleans. He followed this with a strong bebop outing on "Magnolia Triangle," a composition in 5/4 by James Black, the legendary New Orleans drummer who collaborated with Marsalis in the 1960s, including work together on Nat and Cannonball Adele's In the Bag (Jazz land, 1962).

Henry Butler, the "seasoned veteran," was the last pianist up, adding a bit of flash to the evening with his dazzling blue zebra-striped jacket and bright azure-colored slacks. He joined Marsalis for a duet on "Old Folks," offering a meaty, gospel-tinged contrast to the elder pianist's playing, with quotes from "Willow Weep for Me" and "Honeysuckle Rose." Marsalis then left the stage, and Butler, blind by glaucoma since birth, joked that he had returned to music recently after working as a chauffeur and driving an 18-wheeler. He tore through two original compositions, "Orleans Inspiration," a signature tune for him, and "The Village," from his 1987 Impulse recording of the same name that featured Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, and Alvin Batiste. Both numbers showcased Butler's very percussive, blues-based style, with influences from classic R&B, New Orleans funk, and more than a little bit of Professor Longhair.

The show drew to a close with Marsalis and Butler on the two Steinways and Batiste playing melodica and electric keyboard, joined by Riley and Veal, first romping through John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" at a blistering tempo, the three headliners trading round after round of choruses. "Go to the Mardi Gras" was the rousing finish, with Butler singing the Professor Longhair anthem, Veal taking on the classic whistle chorus, and the entire ensemble laying down spirited performances that brought everyone in the audience to their feet for a standing ovation.

Photo Credit
Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Brooklyn Bowl 4-Night-Stand starts TOMORROW

Brooklyn Bowl 4-Night-Stand starts TOMORROW
Tomorrow night we kick of our third annual run of shows at Brooklyn Bowl.  This year we’re pleased to welcome special guests The New Orleans Suspects, John Medeski, The Pedrito Martinez Group, Steven Bernstein (of Sex Mob & MTO), The Dead Kenny Gs, Skerik, Mike Dillon and High and Mighty Brass Band!  Corey Glover (of Living Colour) and Corey Henry (Rebirth Brass Band) will be joining us as well, and you never know who else might show up.  Tickets are still available but going fast, so get yours now and don’t miss out.  As a special bonus, all advance ticket buyers will be automatically entered to win a signed copy of our new album Carnivale Electricos (choice of CD or vinyl).  Winners will be notified via email and provided with instructions on how to claim their goods, complete contest details are available on Brooklyn Bowl’s Website.

Friday, May 25, 2012

EXCLUSIVE CONTEST: Win tickets to Michael Arnone's 23rd Annual Crawfish Fest

For the 5th consecutive year, I'm pleased to offer an exclusive ticket giveaway in connection with Michael Arnone's annual NolaFunky Crawfish Fest.

This year, we're offering multiple pairs of tickets good for either Saturday or Sunday.

Just follow the directions below for your chance to win...

In order to win, email nolafunk at hotmail dot com with: your name, email, and your pick for best-ever set at a past Crawfish Fest. 

If you've never been, then what act are you most excited for this year?

I'll be picking a winner at random and will send email confirmation to the winner only.

Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk | Fri - 6/1/12 | Sussex County Fairgrounds | Augusta, NJ
Sussex County Fairgrounds
37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ [map]

12:00 PM (doors 10:00 AM) | All Ages | $35 - $600

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mardi Gras Dance Party at Brooklyn Bridge Park this Thursday

Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience
Jesse Lége & Bayou Brew
Dance Lessons * Food Trucks * Beer Garden

Thursday, May 24 @ 7:00pm

In order to keep everyone safe from the potential thunderstorm, we are moving to the rain site. The rain site is just steps away from our regular stage area, so just look for the white tent when entering the park!

It’s Mardi Gras set in the New York Harbor when Grammy award-winner Terrance Simien takes the stage. An eighth generation Louisiana Creole, Billboard calls him “one of the finest zydeco artists to emerge from south Louisiana.” Jesse Lége and Bayou Brew will start this Fais do-do with their traditional, foot-stompin’ Cajun dance hall music. Whether you were born on the Bayou or in Brooklyn, you’ll be doin’ the two step in no time!

Free two-step dance lessons at 7pm by Somebody Scream NY.

Upcoming: Anders Osborne @ Bowery Ballroom

Anders Osborne | Sat - 6/2/12 | Bowery Ballroom | New York, NY
Anders Osborne New Album 'Black Eye Galaxy' Out Now Anders Osborne New Album 'Black Eye Galaxy' Out Now
Anders Osborne New Album 'Black Eye Galaxy' Out Now
Anders Osborne New Album 'Black Eye Galaxy' Out Now
SATURDAY - June 2nd

Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St., New York, NY

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Watch: Galactic - "Move Fast" feat. Mystical and Mannie Fresh

NolaFunky Groupon Alert

Nolafunk's Bayou Music by the Big City – Multiple Locations

Nolafunk Summer Concert for Two (Up to 52% Off). 11 Concerts Available.



Music forges tight bonds between people, much like a team-building workshop or an accident at a super-glue factory. Come together for good tunes with this GrouponLive deal to Nolafunk's summer concert series, Bayou Music by the Big City. All tickets are for general admission. Choose from the following concerts:
In Nolafunk's summer concert series, the trumpeting horns, down-home twang, and infectious rhythms of New Orleans migrate north from the Delta to the Big Apple. The concerts vary by performer and venue, but each draws its aural flow from the river that is New Orleans musicality. A concert with soloist Jon Cleary, a "piano professor," weaves audiences along a technically precise performance of smooth and polished notes. On the other end of the spectrum are large, spur-of-the-moment outfits such as the Rebirth Brass Band, whose brand of heavy funk litters the crowd with hot horns and percussion pulses, causing everyone to shake their hips without hooking their belts up to a metronome.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Win: Ultimate New Orleans Experience

One lucky Grand Prize winner will receive the Ultimate New Orleans Experience for two, including two nights stay at The Inn on Bourbon, two nights stay at Loews New Orleans, meals at Mother's Restaurant and Café Beignet, admission to the Audubon Nature Institute and The National WWII Museum, a dinner jazz riverboat cruise, and more.


Jazz @ Lincoln Center: New Orleans Celebration

New Orleans Celebration: The Music of Jelly Roll Morton

presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center
2011-12 Season

Fri-Sat May 11-12 8pm
Rose Theater
Details / Buy Tickets Now!

 Since pianist Marcus Roberts first made a name for himself in the 80s, he’s established his own voice by distilling the compositions, style, and technique of great jazz piano masters. His recent record New Orleans Meets Harlem is a great example of his gift for alchemy. With his trio – comprised of drummer Jason Marsalis and bassist Rodney Jordan – Roberts fleshes out the intricacies of tunes by Jelly Roll Morton with a modern jazz twist. For this concert, the expansion to an octet will ignite Roberts’ imagination to create sounds and colors that Morton could only hear in his head. Featuring trumpeter Alphonso Horne, trombonist Ron Westray, saxophonists Stephen Riley and Ricardo Pascal, and clarinetist Joe Goldberg.

New Orleans Celebration: New Orleans Piano Kings

presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center
2011-12 Season

Fri-Sat May 11-12 7:30pm & 9:30pm
The Allen Room
Details / Buy Tickets Now!

Master drummer Herlin Riley invites us all to a dream show for any musician from New Orleans. Here he honors the great Crescent City pianists of the past by recruiting great New Orleans pianists of the present. His choices are the best of three generations of modern piano players, including the dean of Louisiana pianists Ellis Marsalis, veteran Henry Butler, and young star Jonathan Batiste They are joined by New Orleans native Reginald Veal on bass.


Free Pre-Concert Activities
Free pre-concert discussion with JALC’s Ken Druker and pianist Terry Waldo, nightly at 7pm.
Free pre-concert celebration including live music by the Red Hook Ramblers, a gumbo cook-off, album art displays, and more, nightly at 6:30pm. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

A rough guide to new New Orleans CDs

Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune

The annual springtime avalanche of new New Orleans music did not disappoint this year, as artists hustled to release new products in time for the New Orleans Jazz Fest. The following is an alphabetical overview of notable new releases this season.

anders osborne 2012.jpg

Theresa Andersson, Street Parade, Basin Street Records | Review
The New Orleans-by-way-of-Sweden singer, songwriter and violinist orchestrates another collection of lush, sometimes ethereal pop.

Glen David Andrews, Live at Three Muses, GDA Music Group
The charismatic trombonist and singer sought to capture the energy of his live shows by recording a typically eclectic, sweaty set of gospel/blues on Frenchmen Street.

Tab Benoit, Legacy: The Best of Tab Benoit, Telarc
Drawn from the south Louisiana guitarist's previous releases, this collection includes his takes on songs by Otis Redding, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Buddy Miller and his pals in Louisiana LeRoux.

Mia Borders, Wherever There Is, Independent
The blues/rock/soul singer, guitarist and songwriter considers "Wherever There Is" to be her first full-length, full-blown album.

John Boutte, All About Everything, Independent
The bantamweight gospel and jazz singer, best known for "Treme Song," covers classics by Leonard Cohen ("Hallelujah") and Billy Strayhorn ("Lush Life") alongside new or little-known compositions by Allen Toussaint, Alex McMurray and Paul Sanchez.

Evan Christopher, Clarinet Road Vol. III: In Sidney's Footsteps, STR Digital Records
The adventurous jazz clarinetist continues his "Clarinet Road" series with a set inspired by Sidney Bechet.

Jon Cleary, Occapella, Fhq Records | Review
The ever-tasteful funk and R&B keyboardist and singer reimagines songs from the Allen Toussaint catalog. Highlights include a spooky "Southern Nights," a solo piano "Fortune Teller" and the a cappella title track.

Debbie Davis, It's Not the Years, It's the Miles, Threadhead Records
The Pfister Sister and an extensive musical cast that includes her husband, bassist and sousaphonist Matt Perrine, cover songs by local tunesmiths Alex McMurray -- he wrote the title track -- and Paul Sanchez and recording engineer Mark Bingham. Davis and pianist Bobby Lounge tear up the 1920s-era blues "Trouble in Mind." She and Perrine also arrange covers of songs by Amy Winehouse ("You Know I'm No Good"), the Beatles ("Things We Said Today") and Irving Berlin ("You'd Be Surprised").

Kristin Diable, Kristin Diable & the City, Speakeasy Records
One of the city's stars-in-waiting, Diable deploys a sensuous, smoky voice on a crisply produced set of languid Americana music, all of it written by her.

Ani DiFranco, Which Side Are You On?, Righteous Babe Records
An adopted New Orleanian, DiFranco steps out on a typically engaged program informed by such locals as Cyril and Ivan Neville, Derrick Tabb, Mark Mullins, Matt Perrine and her husband/producer, Mike Napolitano.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Twenty Dozen, Savoy Jazz
The 35-years-young Dirty Dozen kicks brass on original compositions, Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music" and such standards as "Paul Barbarin's Second Line," "E-Flat Blues" and "When the Saints Go Marching In."

Dr. John, Locked Down, Nonesuch | Review
Dr. John is reborn courtesy of "Locked Down" producer Dan Auerbach, best known as the Black Keys' guitarist. Auerbach assembled a simpatico young band and persuaded Dr. John to play only keyboards -- no piano. The result is the best Dr. John album in years.

Galactic, Carnivale Electricos, Anti- Records | Review
The forward-thinking nouveau funk band transports Carnival music from Brazil to New Orleans -- including guest Al Johnson's classic "Carnival Time" -- back to the future with loops, samples and other sound effects.

Gypsyphonic Disko, NOLAphonic Vol 2, Independent
The second release by Galactic saxophonist Ben Ellman's side project is another mash-up of Eastern European gypsy music and New Orleans bounce rap.

Hurray for the Riff Raff, Look Out Mama, Born to Win
The country/folk/Americana ensemble deploys acoustic guitars, fiddle, harmonica, piano, bass and drums in support of former street singer Alynda Lee Segarra's come-hither contralto. "What's Wrong With Me?" sounds like a lost slow dance beamed in from a 1962 prom.
iguanas 2012.jpg

The Iguanas, Sin to Sin, PFAM
The city's long-running Latin/rhythm & blues dance band breaks a multiyear recording hiatus to range from the nimble sax and cantina groove of "Oye Mi Cumbia" to the rocked-out electric guitars of "Waiting for My Gin to Hit Me."

Little Freddie King, Chasing Tha Blues, MadeWright Records
King's latest audio journal features tales of misadventure set to his rough-hewn style of electric blues guitar, with accompaniment from his road-tested band and guest guitarist Greg Schatz.

Joe Krown, Exposed, Independent
The keyboardist steps away from his trio for an album of solo piano. He covers the Big Three of New Orleans piano -- Professor Longhair, James Booker and Allen Toussaint -- but mostly ruminates on original material.

Eric Lindell, I Still Love You, Sparco Records
A brand-new collection from the prolific roots rock, blues 'n' boogie guitarist and songwriter, anchored by Marc Adams' piano and organ and Brad Walker's tenor saxophone.

Tom McDermott & Meschiya Lake, Live at Chickie Wah Wah, Independent
McDermott, a fluent and versatile pianist, and Lake, an equally versatile singer who can range well beyond her hot jazz base, capture their weekly duo gig on record.

Anders Osborne, Black Eye Galaxy, Alligator Records
Osborne's addiction and recovery continue to provide fodder for his amped-up guitar explorations, including the spacey, seven-plus minute "Mind of a Junkie."

Papa Grows Funk, Needle in the Groove, Independent
Allen Toussaint and Better Than Ezra bassist Tom Drummond split production duties on the dependably funky PGF's latest, and most consistent, original album.

Nicholas Payton, Bitches, In + Out Records
The jazz trumpeter abandons his signature sound and instrument to try singing R&B, with decidedly mixed results. The synthesizer, programmed beats and distorted voice of "By My Side" makes for a tough opening; Ne-Yo has nothing to fear. "Bitches" was originally available only as a download, but is now out on CD. Cassandra Wilson and Esperanza Spalding guest.

The Revivalists, City of Sound, Independent | Review
Galactic's Ben Ellman produced this poised and polished second album from the city's preeminent next-generation rock band.

Paul Sanchez & Colman DeKay, Nine Lives: A Musical Story of New Orleans, Threadhead/Mystery Street Records
Populated by scores of local musicians, the full 39-song, two-CD edition of the musical based on author Dan Baum's acclaimed New Orleans odyssey "Nine Lives" is now available.

Soul Rebels, Unlock Your Mind, Rounder Records
The Rebels are still a brass band at heart, but also rap or sing on several songs. They brass up originals and covers of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" and Lee Dorsey's "Night People." Cyril Neville and Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli guest.

Various artists, Treme: Music from the HBO Original Series, Vol.2, Rounder Records
Consisting of songs recorded live for the TV show, the second volume of "Treme" music features the Hot 8 and Rebirth brass bands, Jon Cleary, the Subdudes, the Radiators, the Iguanas, John Boutte, Tom McDermott, Kermit Ruffins, and Steve Riley paired with Steve Earle. Catch some of the cast and crew will be signing CDs and DVDs Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Book Tent.

Various artists, Ingrid Lucia Presents New Orleans Female Vocalists, American Brat Collaborations
Ingrid Lucia, Kristin Diable, Margie Perez, the Pfister Sisters, Linnzi Zaorski, Sarah Quintana, Trisha Boutte, Sophie Lee, Meschiya Lake, Vanessa "Gal Holiday" Niemann and Alexandra Scott, among others, contribute original recordings.

Dr. Michael White, Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Vol. 2, Basin Street Records
On his latest "Adventure," the traditional jazz clarinetist takes on such nontraditional fare as the Turtles' "Happy Together," Janis Joplin's "Me and Bobby McGee" and Hank Williams' "Jambalaya."

Kipori Woods, Blues Gone Wild, Louisiana Red Hot
Skip the cover of "Meet Me with Your Black Drawers On." The original material that follows better showcases the fireworks the local blues guitarist is capable of detonating.