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Archive for May, 2010

June 2010 Potential Show Run Down

June 2010 Potential Show Run Down

(If there is ANYTHING that I have missed that must not be missed, please point it out as this is updated daily things constantly.)

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010:

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio w/Clay Ross @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($10 w/ 2 Drink min) Jason Lindner Trio w/Mark Guiliana @ Zinc Bar
  • ($45-$85) Reggie Watts w/ Conan O’Brien @ Radio City Music Hall

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010:

  • ($10 w/ 2 Drink min) Jason Lindner Trio @ Zinc Bar
  • ($25-$45) Lisa Loeb @ City Winery
  • ($29.50) Toots & the Maytals @ B.B. Kings
  • ($45-$85) Reggie Watts w/ Conan O’Brien @ Radio City Music Hall

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010:

  • ($15) Galactic Feat. Corey Henry w/ Sp. Guest Corey Glover of Living Colour@ Brooklyn Bowl (Funk Live) –> Some Cat From Japan (A Will Bernad Project) opening for Galactic (Jam Cruise Reunion Party)
  • ($15) Eli “Paperboy” Reed & True Loves @ Mercury Lounge
  • ($32-$35) Dark Star Orchestra @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
  • ($30-$35) Anders Osborne / Tab Benoit @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise Aboard The Temptress
  • ($35) Michael Franti & Spearheads & Trombone Shorty @ Govenor’s Island
  • ($40-$30) Dee Dee Bridgewater: Tribute to Billie Holiday @ The Blue Note
  • ($150) Patti LaBelle @ B.B. King Blues Club
  • ($??) Eldar @ Iridium Jazz Club

Friday, June 4th, 2010:

  • Mountain Jam IV Music Festival, NY ~ Day I
  • (Free) Von Ghost @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($15) Galactic Feat. Corey Henry w/ Sp. Guest Corey Glover of Living Colour@ Brooklyn Bowl (Funk Live) –>
    • Some Cat From Japan (A Will Bernard Project) opening for Galactic
  • ($25) The Return of George Porter Jr. & Runnin Pardners/ Papa Grows Funk @ Sullivan Hall (Funk Live)
  • ($35-$60) Drive By Truckers & Jamie McLean @ Tarrytown Music Hall
  • ($36/SOLD OUT) RJD2, Pretty Lights, Chiddy Bang @ Terminal 5
  • ($40-$30) Dee Dee Bridgewater: Tribute to Billie Holiday @ The Blue Note
  • ($??) Eldar @ Iridium Jazz Club

Saturday, June 5th, 2010:

  • Mountain Jam Music Festival, NY ~ Day II
  • 12th Annual Star Scape Music Festival, MD
  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem
  • (Free) Underground Horns @ The Shrine
  • ($15) Galactic Feat. Corey Henry w/ Sp. Guest Corey Glover of Living Colour@ Brooklyn Bowl (Funk Live) –> Some Cat From Japan (A Will Bernard Project) opening for Galactic
  • ($30) Martin Sexton, Ryan Montbleau Band @ Nokia Theater Times Square
  • ($36.50 – $40) Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes @ B.B. Kings
  • ($40-$30) Dee Dee Bridgewater: Tribute to Billie Holiday @ The Blue Note

Sunday, June 6th, 2010:

  • Mountain Jam Music Festival, NY ~ Day III
  • ($18-$25) Holmes Brothers @ City Winery
  • ($40-$30) Dee Dee Bridgewater: Tribute to Billie Holiday @ The Blue Note

Monday, June 7th, 2010:

  • (Free) Fela! On Broadway Original Cast Recording Release Party @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30) Brand New Heavies feat. N’Dea Davenport @ Highline Ballroom

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010:

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010:

  • ($3 suggested) Norah Jones @ Prospect Park Bandshell
  • (Free) Phish on Late Night with Jimmy Falon
  • (Entered a contest but found no price) Jeff Beck – A Tribute To Les Paul @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($10-$15) Trouble & Bass @ Santos House Party
  • ($16-$18) Easy Star All-Stars @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($20-$25) An Evening With Eric Lindell (Album Release Party) @ Sullivan Hall (Funk Live)

Thursday, June 10th, 2010:

  • Bonnaroo Music Festival
  • (Free) Sarah Mclachlan on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
  • ($15-$20) Orchard Lounge @ Higher Nubela @ Club Love
  • ($20-$25) Evening with Eric Krasno & Chapter 2 @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($20) Jamie Lidell w/ Alex B. @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
  • ($20-$30) Duncan Sheik & Holly Brook @ City Winery
  • ($35 for each set) Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna @ Iridium Jazz Club

Friday, June 11th, 2010:

  • Bonnaroo Music Festival (Manchester, TN)
  • Reggae On The Road (Lighting Ridge Park, NY)
  • (Free) Allison Moorer on Late Show with David Letterman
  • ($5) Rotary Downs, The Pimps Of Joytime, Big Light @ Brooklyn Bowl (Funk Live)
  • ($25) David Allan Coe @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($25) The Budos Band @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise (The Temptress) (7pm-11pm)
    • ($25-$30) Rubblebucket @ Rocks Off Cruises (The Temptress) (11pm-4am)
  • ($25-$80) Jethro Tull w/ Procol Harum @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
  • ($30-$45) Leo Kottke @ City Winery

Saturday, June 12th, 2010:

  • Bonnaroo Music Festival (Manchester, TN)
  • Reggae On The Road (Lighting Ridge Park, NY)
  • ($20-$25) NYC Undead Jazzfest (2 Nights, 3 Venues, 30 Bands)
  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem @12:30 (late night show)
  • (Girls free/$5) Higher Nebulae @ The Delancy (11pm-1145pm)
  • ($3) Allen Toussaint and Davell Crawford @ The Prospect Park Bandhshell
  • ($10) Will Bernard @ The Blue Note @ 12:30pm (late night show)
  • ($25) Grace Potter & The Nocturnals @ Webster Hall
  • ($30-$35) Leo Kottke @ City Winery

Sunday, June 13th, 2010:

  • Bonnaroo Music Festival (Manchester, TN)
  • Reggae On The Road (Lighting Ridge Park, NY)
  • ($20-$25) NYC Undead Jazzfest (2 Nights, 3 Venues, 30 Bands)
  • ($??) Undead Jazzfest w/ Mark Guiliana @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($7)  Afro Funky Party w/ Zongo Junction, Top Shotta & DJ Offbeat @ Cameo Gallery

Monday, June 14th, 2010:

  • (Free) Baaba Maal, Playing For Change @ Summerstage
  • ($8-$15 + 1 drink min.) Jim Campilongo Electric Trio (w/ Stephan Crump and Tony Mason) @ The Living Room
  • ($25) The Mingus Big band @ The Jazz Standard

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010:

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($30) John Butler Trio, State Radio, Angus and Julia Stone & State Radio @ Summerstage
  • ($40-$155) Carole King / James Taylor – Troubadour Reunion @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($15) The Roots @ Highline Ballroom (this is weird online)

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010:

  • ($5) Chico Mann @ Santos House Party
  • ($25) Mary Gauthier @ Joe’s Pub (NolaFolk)
  • ($40-$155) Carole King / James Taylor – Troubadour Reunion @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($50) Larry Graham + Central Station (S&TFS) @ B.B. Kings

Thursday, June 17th, 2010:

  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • (Free) Taylor Carson @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($??) Mark Guiliana @ 55 Bar
  • (??) Gent Treadly @ Flannery’s Irish Pub (called everywhere looking for price)
  • ($10-$12) Apollo Run @ The Studio @ Webster Hall
  • ($5) The Lee Boys @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($13) The London Souls @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($20-$25) Tony Allen at Le Poisson Rouge (Funk Live)
  • ($25-$30)  Railroad Earth @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise Aboard The Temptress
  • ($40 – $90) Keith Jarrett Trio, Jack DeJohnette, Gary Peacock @ Carnegie Hall (Part of CareFusion Jazz Festival New York)
  • ($59.90-$99.50) New Kids on the Block @ Radio City Music Hall

Friday, June 18th, 2010:

Saturday, June 19th, 2010:

  • PHISH @ SPAC!!!
  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem (12:pm – late night show)
  • (Free) Apollo Run @ Central Park’s Bandshell
  • (Free) Mike Stern Trio – Bitches Brew Revisited @ Prospect Park Bandshell
  • ($10) The McLovin’s @ Sullivan Hall (@9:30pm)
  • ($10) Sullivan Hall Shakedown @ Sullivan Hall (@12:30am)
    • Featuring Monchan, Chris Hall and DJ Nutritious w/ percussion by Steven Chopeck w/ visuals by Mamiko Kuchida plus special guest ElaNEF
  • ($12) Eli “Paperboy” Reed  @ The Bellhouse
    • Justin Townes Earle (opening for Eli Reed) @ The Bell House
  • ($12-$15)  Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey @ 92Y Tribeca
  • ($20) Black Dynamite Sound Orchestra @ Southpaw
  • ($59.90-$99.50) New Kids on the Block @ Radio City Music Hall

Sunday, June 20th, 2010:

Monday, June 21th, 2010:

  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • Make Music New York ALL DAY FUNK FEST! (Funk Live)
  • ($8-$15 + 1 drink min.) Jim Campilongo Electric Trio (w/ Stephan Crump and Tony Mason) @ The Living Room
  • ($25) The Mingus Big band @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($15) The Roots @ Highline Ballroom (this is odd online)

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010:

  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (Free) Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue @ Late Show with David Letterman
  • ($25) Marcus Miller feat. Christian Scott: The Music of Miles Davis @ Highline Ballroom

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010:

Thursday, June 24th, 2010:

  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • Funk Fest 6 at Sullivan Hall (Funk Live)
  • ($10-$85) Blues Summit: James Cotton & Friends feat. Taj Mahal, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Shemekia Copeland, Darrell Nulisch, David Maxwell @ Jazz at Lincoln Center
  • ($15) The New Deal @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15) The Late Night Jam Sessions @ City Winery (Part of CareFusion Jazz Festival New York)
  • (Unknown) Chico Man @ El Museo del Barrio
  • ($20 ) Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad @ Rocks Off Cruise (The Half Moon)
  • (Unknown) Victor Wooten @ BAM Rhythm and Blues Festival
  • ($32.50-$38) En Vogue @ B.B. Kings
  • ($35-$105) Herbie Hancock @ Carnegie Hall (Part of CareFusion Jazz Festival New York)
    • Special guests Terence Blanchard, Ron Carter, Bill Cosby, Dave Holland, Joe Lovano, Wallace Roney, Wayne Shorter, plus other artists to be announced

Friday, June 25th, 2010:

  • Phish @ Susquahana Bank Center, Camen, NJ
  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • (Free) Soul Cycle @ Brooklyn Academy of Music
  • ($10 – $15) Jason Lindner Trio @ The Jazz Gallery (Part of CareFusion Jazz Festival New York)
  • ($15) Harlem Stride: Henry Butler (NolaJazz), Osmany Paredes @ Harlem Stage Gatehouse
  • ($15) The Sam Kininger Band @ The Blue Note
  • ($35) Al Di Meola @ Highline Ballroom (YES!! YES!! YES!!)
  • ($98) Chuck Berry @ B.B. King Blues Club
  • ($41.50 – $156.50) Maxwell & Jill Scott @ MSG

Saturday, June 26th, 2010:

  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • (Free) Common & Soulive @ Fort Greene Music Fest 2010
  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem
  • (Free) Tinariwen & Toubab Krewe @ Central Park Summerstage
  • ($10) Reckoning @ Sullivan Hall (A post Furthur show playing music of the Dead, Phish and more…)
  • ($39.50) Furthur @ MCU Park
    • Featuring Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Jeff Chimenti, John Kadlecik, Jay Lane & Joe Russo
  • ($30- $385) Yes! & Peter Frampton @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
  • ($41.50 – $156.50) Maxwell & Jill Scott @ MSG

Sunday, June 27th, 2010:

  • NASFT Fancy Food Shows @ Javit Center
  • ($39.50) Furthur @ MCU Park
  • ($15) Elvis Perkins in Dearland @ Newtown Barge Park (1pm show)

Monday, June 28th, 2010:

  • NASFT Fancy Food Shows @ Javit Center

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010:

  • NASFT Fancy Food Shows @ Javit Center
  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($8-$15 + 1 drink min.) Jim Campilongo Electric Trio (w/ Stephan Crump and Tony Mason) @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Robert Randolph @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($35-$65) Alejandro Escovedo @ City Winery
  • (Sold Out) Passion Pit @ Prospect Park Bandshell

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010:

  • ($25) New Mastersounds @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise Aboard The Temptress
  • ($35) Passion Pit @ Govenor’s Island, NY
  • ($39.50 – $154.50) James Taylor & Carole King @ Madison Square Garden

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The 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:

An “Easy D” Perspective: Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

(Read Easy D’s “Prologue” here)

(Read Easy D’s “Wednesday, April 28, 2010” here)

(Read Easy D’s “Thursday, April 29, 2010” here)

(Read Easy D’s “Friday, April 30, 2010” here)

Moving slow this morning.  Quick check of the weather forecast reveals no change.   Total cloud cover, breezy, chance of rain.  This is great.  No need to continuously apply SPF 30!  Time to get on the school bus!  Unfortunately, we missed the first period of classes.  However, we arrive in time to catch the end of the Henry Butler & the Game Band set at the Gentilly stage.  This band had much more of a gospel feel than New Orleans Social Club showcasing Henry Butler’s great voice as well as his piano playing prowess.

Henry Butler @ Jazz Fest 2010

Henry Butler @ Jazz Fest 2010

We were focused.  It was time to hoof it over quickly to the Acura stage for Anders Osborne.  During the trek,we loved listening to snippets of Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band at the Fais Do Do stage and Rebirth Brass Band at Congo Square.

Rebirth Brass Band @ Jazz Fest 2010

Rebirth Brass Band @ Jazz Fest 2010

Saturday at Jazz Fest gets extremely crowded.  It’s good to have a strategy so that you can enjoy viewing the performers without having to battle the crowds.  This is especially true as one gets older and perhaps less slim (like me).  Over the last couple of years, our Krewe has adopted the following strategy for the Acura stage once the crowds build: position ourselves in front of the big screen to the left of the stage near the Grand Marshall entrance.  This is where we went next.

As with the jazzfest set last year, Anders Osborne played with the Stanton Moore Trio.  What a powerful group!

Anders Osborne – Guitar and Vocals

Stanton Moore –  Drums

Robert Walter – Organ

Will Bernard – Guitar

Anders Osborne @ Jazz Fest 2010

Anders Osborne @ Jazz Fest 2010

It has been a year since I have seen Anders Osborne live, but I have been following his career closely and could not help but notice that his appearance has taken a turn to say the least.  When viewed on the big screen, Anders’ appearance is, how can I say this tactfully, even more disconcerting.

Anders Osbourne @ Jazz Fet 2010
Anders Osbourne @ Jazz Fet 2010

However, there was nothing disconcerting about the performance or the great songs from Anders’ brand new album American Patchwork.  Most notable was the killer tune ‘On the Road to Charlie Parker’ as well as another gem ‘Acapulco’.  During the set, Anders thanked the Stanton Moore Trio for helping to ‘get my shit together.’  It’s easy to see why with such great collaborators providing the right mood for Anders’ introspective lyrics.

Anders Osbourne @ Jazz Fet 2010

Anders Osbourne @ Jazz Fet 2010

Later in the set, Anders brought another collaborator, guitarist Pepper Keenan (Corrosion of Conformity, Down) for a couple of tunes, including the haunting dual lead guitar laced ‘Darkness at the Bottom’.

Pepper Keenan w/ Anders Osborne & the Stanton Moore Trio @ Jazz Fest 2010

Pepper Keenan w/ Anders Osborne & the Stanton Moore Trio @ Jazz Fest 2010

Afterwards, Anders quipped about starting a ZZ Top cover band with Pepper.  I found Anders set to be quite powerful and emotional, certainly destined to be one of my highlights of Jazzfest 2010.  Anders is currently touring with the Trio on the west coast promoting the new album.  Go see them if you can!

After that set, I was spent.  Seems like just the right time to head to the Blues tent and grab a seat for Chris Thomas King.  You may remember Chris from his co-starring role in the Coen Brothers film O Brother Where Art Thou.  I learned several years ago that Chris is a great singer and delta blues guitarist when I caught him at a blues festival in Wheeling, WV.  His Jazz Fest set featured Chris playing mostly acoustic instruments with a couple of tunes on electric.  My guitar playing buddy was impressed.

Chris Thomas King @ Jazz Fest 2010

Chris Thomas King @ Jazz Fest 2010

Crawfish Strudel

Crawfish Strudel

Time for some food!  I was ‘beered out’ by Saturday, decided I should look for a different beverage.  I selected the Rosemint Iced Tea (unsweetened).  Delicious.  At this point I was looking for something I had not tried for and saw a sign for something called a Crawfish Strudel.  Hmmm.  Better check that out.  What I saw was a small rectangular flaky bread loaf with a slit through the top stuffed with a soupy concoction with chunks of crawfish.  Kinda like a small bread bowl, if you will, but very delicate.  A very nice surprise!  While I was working through the food lines, I could see the big Acura screen between the booths.  I noticed that Irma Thomas was sitting in with Galactic!  I guess I picked the wrong time to get hungry!

Band of Horses @ Jazz Fest 2010

Band of Horses @ Jazz Fest 2010

By this time, our dogs were barking (it’s hell growing old), so we worked our way over to the Fais Do Do stage.  Got there in time to see BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet finish their set.  Excellent.  Most of my Krewe ended up randomly gathering as the Honey Island Swamp Band set up for their set.  One brought a chair and set it up toward the back of the crowd.  Some friends and I parked on the bleachers to the left of the stage.  Some were in the standing area in front of the stage.  It’s great to have a group split during a day at the fest then randomly meet near the end of the day.  Some of my group reported that the Band of Horses set at Gentilly was killer.  Others reported that Galactic had many special guests throughout their set, not just Irma.

Then the Honey Island Swamp Band tore into their set.  The Honey Island Swamp Band is:

Chris Mulé – guitar, vocals

Aaron Wilkinson – mandolin, guitar,harmonica, vocals

Sam Price – bass, vocals

Garland Paul – drums, vocals

Honey Island Swamp Band @ Jazz Fest 2010

Honey Island Swamp Band @ Jazz Fest 2010

I have been following Chris Mulé and Aaron Wilkinson for years, since their days as part of Eric Lindell’s band.  Both are great players and singers.  In addition to the band, the stage was filled with a keyboard player, backing vocalists, and a horn section, quite a departure from the spare traveling band I saw just a few weeks ago at a small club in my hometown.  But what a dancin’ party it was at Fais Do Do!

I knew that the crowds for Pearl Jam at Acura would be impossible.  I made the decision long before coming to New Orleans that I would end Saturday at the Gentilly stage for guitar god Jeff Beck.  It has been about a decade since I last saw Mr. Beck.   I am happy to report that he is getting better with age if that is possible.  His very tight band consisted of a phenomenal female bass player and singer, drummer, and a keyboardist.  Most tunes were instrumentals, but hey, that’s OK, Jeff makes the guitar sing like no one can.  Also, gotta love a guy that is comfortable in his wardrobe.  Great ending to yet another great day.  Heavy clouds, no rain!  I like this trend!

Jeff Beck @ Jazz Fest 2010

Jeff Beck @ Jazz Fest 2010

Saturday Night, 5/1

Some of our Krewe were talking about going to see Anders Osborne and the Stanton Moore Trio again at The Rock ‘N’ Bowl on Saturday night.  I wasn’t wild about going to the same venue two nights in a row and I wasn’t wild about seeing Anders again on the same day after that draining (in a good way) set at the fairgrounds.  Last year, I did not make it to the Frenchman Street area in Marigny, an area just east of the French Quarter.  Frenchman Street is a street lined with music clubs and restaurants that is more of a scene, hip, vibrant, bohemian, you name it area than the much more touristy Bourbon Street.

Soulive @ Jazz Fest 2010

Soulive @ Jazz Fest 2010

We decided to go see Soulive at The Blue Nile.  Upon arriving on the scene, the streets and sidewalks are literally jammed with people.  Most I have ever seen on Frenchman Street.  When we approach The Blue Nile, we land in a block long admission line.  We finally make it in to the club just before the show starts.  There was a large deep crowd of people in front of the stage.  We positioned ourselves just to the right of the stage.  While not the best vantage point, at least we can clearly see the keys.

Soulive @ Jazz Fest 2010

Soulive @ Jazz Fest 2010

Soulive is Eric Krasno (guitar), Alan Evans (drums) and his brother Neal Evans (keyboards).  What a pleasure to see this band in such a small venue!  I have always loved Kras’ guitar playing, but from our vantage point, we had a bird’s eye view of Neal’s thumping left hand bass line playing coupled with his right hand organ playing.  How does he do that?

Soulive @ Jazzfest 2010

Soulive @ Jazzfest 2010

As the set progressed, the crowd got much larger and our bird’s eye view became less ideal.  There was nowhere to move or breathe for that matter, so we moved a little further back.  By this time, Nigel Hall joined the band to sing a few tunes, some of which were James Brown-like.  At least we had a little more space to shake our bones!   Several minutes later, the long set ended.  Terrific performance!  We decided to get some air and check out the street scene.

Across the street in front of the now closed Café Brasil, there was a blues band (electric) playing.  What fun!  Not 30 feet from the blues band, a brass band was holding court in the middle of the intersection.  All the while, people were stopping to listen, dancing, and strolling by.  We continued walking up the street taking in all of the sights and sounds.  Most of us decided that we weren’t going to fight the crowds and return to the Blue Nile for the 2nd set.  The one guy that did stay behind later reported that the second set was all Beatles tunes. RUBBER SOULIVE! Darn!

There were no cabs to be had on Frenchman Street, so we decided a stroll through the neighborhoods was in order.  It was a very pleasant evening and the walk did us good.  Once we were back in the French Quarter, we happened to stroll by the Co Co Club on Bourbon Street and saw the most excellent blind blues guitarist, Bryan Lee, playing.  What a bonus!  Even though there was no cover and we could have gone inside, we had a great view of Bryan and the sound was great out on the street.  We paused for about 10 minutes enjoying the band.

What a great night!  And back to the hotel just before 2:00?  I love it!

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Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Paul Motian, and Sp. Guest John Scofield @ The Blue Note (05.12.10)

The Blue Note, NYC

The Blue Note, NYC

I was completely FREAKING OUT!  110% shaking like a leaf with excitement.  My friend was standing next to me just kinda staring at me.  It was physically noticeable.  With a genuinely concerned look, she asks me if I am OK.  Honestly, I might as well been on 100 Five-Hour Energy Shots and crack.  I was on the verge of hyperventilating.  That is how ridiculously excited I was.

Chick Corea took The Blue Note by storm for two weeks, from May 4-9 and May 11-16.  Playing with a brand new project featuring Eddie Gomez on bass & Paul Motian on drums, Chick celebrated the lesser known works of Bill Evans, the project simply called Further Explorations of Bill Evans.

Bill Evans

Bill Evans

For those of you who need some schooling, Bill Evans was a famous, FAMOUS Jazz Pianist/Composer/Arranger who…

“influenced a generation of pianists including: Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, John Taylor, Steve Kuhn, Don Friedman, Denny Zeitlin, Bobo Stenson, Michel Petrucciani and Keith Jarrett, as well as guitarists Lenny Breau, Ralph Towner and Pat Metheny.” ~Wikipedia~

In 1958, Bill Evans was a pianist in Miles Davis’ group.  Can you imagine?  I know Chick Corea and John Scofield certainly can.  Evans influence ran so deep with Miles, his talent so respected, that he wrote the liner notes for Miles Davis’ classic Kind of Blues; the best selling jazz album of all time.

Tonight, I got my chance to see two of my biggest musical heroes celebrating one of their musical heroes.  I found that exhilarating.  Of the 12 days Chick Corea played at The Blue Note,  I chose tonight specifically because John Scofield would be the special guest and I was geekin’ out.  Tonight’s Line Up:

FEATURING:
Chick Corea, piano
Eddie Gomez, bass
Paul Motian, drums
w/ sp. guest: John Scofield, guitar

The Blue Note

The Blue Note

At 69 years old, Chick Corea is still going strong.  Having become a fan of his music through my love of Fusion Jazz, Chick Corea has been on my radar for many, many years.  Most of you should recall Return to Forever, with it’s classic lineup of Stanley Clarke on bass, Al Di Meola on Guitar and Lenny White on drums.  If you haven’t heard of Return to Forever, you might want to stop reading and go check it out.  Seriously, get away from this article and go listen to the music instead of reading about it.  I don’t mind.

For weeks prior to his two week stint, Chick Corea was offering up free tickets to each of his shows through Twitter and via e-mail.  I entered twice a day, every day allowed, but alas, it looked as if I was doomed to pay the $65 for a table or $40 to stand at the bar.  Not a big fan of The Blue Note for these high prices but in this case, I would spend my savings account to see Chick and John play together in this intimate setting.  I mean, it was one of the world’s most famous jazz clubs, how could I complain?!

Stage Sign

Stage Sign with Eddie's bass below

The plan was to get there early and see if we could get a seat at the bar ($40) vs. getting a table ($65) plus a $5 minimum purchase (nothing there is under $7), plus tipping your waitress…you get my point.  Unfortunately, we just missed snagging a seat by one person. We were the first ones standing.  I took a trip upstairs, just figuring out they had restrooms and gift shop up there…and figuring out that this was where the Green Room was located.  I just don’t go to The Blue Note that often for shows so this was a fun discovery. Especially when I saw John come out of the Green Room and throw a smile my way.   People come from all over the world to stop in at The Blue Note, it’s gift shop stocked with all kinds of paraphernalia that  I wanted like the piano ashtray or the hanging poster of Lionel Hampton that isn’t even for sale.  When it does go on sale, my friend “E” and I will be fighting for it to the death.  After my explorations upstairs, we stand around for another 45 minutes.

Inside The Blue Note ~ Chick's Set Up

Inside The Blue Note ~ Chick's Set Up

Already weary from a long day’s work, standing in line outside for 30 minutes and another hour and a half inside, it didn’t take long for my friend to talk me into upgrading to a table so we could sit.  We had to wait until the rest of the reserved patrons were seated but we finally got a seat, in a decent spot for me to see Chick’s side view and John’s front view.  I was happy but, and this is a big but, we were HORRIBLY crammed into our seats, I was practically on top of my neighbor and I am a small little lady.  I felt like a sardine and my back was to the stage the way I was seated.  I turned and was grateful that I WAS a small human being and manipulated my way around to see the stage.  It is also about this time that I said screw the money and I made the MOST out of the awkward situation.  I ordered a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and a scrumptious Flat Bread Salad with Grilled Chicken.  So much for the $40 budget, I think I walked out with a $130 bill that night…so worth every penny.

The Blue Note Bar Sign

The Blue Note Bar Sign

The stage was set with Chick’s grand piano to the left, Eddie’s stand up bass in front of that, Paul’s drum kit raged the middle of the stage and to the right of the stage stood John Scofield‘s stool and music stand.  The scene was set and everyone was waiting.  When they came onto the stage the venue erupted in applause.  I scanned the room looking for someone younger then me and my friend. I was hard-pressed and it made me weary.  I wished there were more young people who are willing to learn from a real musician instead of what was on their radio stations and MTV…barf music.  The set list that night was kind of hard for me, I picked up on 5 out of the 8 songs.  It was hard to tell where one ended and another began.  Luckily Chick’s website had the set list:

SET LIST:
Diane
Stella By Starlight
Song #1
Little Rootie Tootie
My Foolish Heart
Someday My Prince Will Come
Bessie’s Blues
Peri’s Scope

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Diane, a song by Erno Rapee and Lew Pollack, was fast and playful. A great opener, a great song to show case their talent immediately.  There was playfulness between John and Chick right off the bat.   John breaks into his first solo of the night.  What do you think it sounded like?  It was crisp and fast and he was up off the stool as if the music had lifted him right out!  This first song was easily 10 minutes, so long and lovely.  They each took their turn down the line soloing.  Chick was second and being that Erno Rapee was a virtuoso pianist, this song was written for Chick to rage it.  Then it was Eddie’s turn and then it got quiet.  Chick starts the twinkling on the keys…playing scales.  I can see his fingers with his head lowered and slowly Paul sneaks back in with the beat.  John gets up and out of his seat again as he plants another lucrative solo on us.  This was just the first song and I was satisfied.  Great wine, great food, great company, GREAT music.

John Scofield @ The Blue Note

John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Stella By Starlight is a jazz standard, written by Victor Young, that I recognized immediately, but couldn’t grab the name when Chick gave it to us later. Chick started off plinking the keys.  So very slow, Miles Davis’ version has horns but there would be no horns on stage tonight.  With soft taps on the cymbals, Paul joins the songs.  It all seemed so very My Fair Lady, very lounge-y.  Eddie’s bass joined in with slow pulls of his bow here and there, so light and timid.  Just a gorgeous song.

Chick stands up and introduces the band to the audience. There is massive applause for each member.  “These are brand new Bill Evans songs composed a while ago,” Chick says.  “Happy belated Mother’s Day. The first song was called Diane.  We are doing song with ladies in the title….ladies tunes. We will be doing a few Thelonious tunes…”  And the music continues…

Eddie Gomez and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Eddie Gomez and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Song #1 is beyond me.  I had no clue what this song was and I still don’t.   John’s face was contorted into a knot as he played.  The main vein of the song was John on guitar with Chick coming in sporadically on keys.  Chick stopped to take off his jacket, taking a turn to smile at the audience as his back was to half of us.  My wine finally comes.  Even better.

Pounding on the keys with Paul’s drum backing Chick, Little Rootie Tootie, a Thelonious Monk song, was next.  A cute song that reminds me of Charlie Brown cartoons for some reason.  The piano section is just exquisite.  Chick was working up a sweat and dried off his key with the towel.  But it didn’t end there.  John picked up the melody and using his towel, Chick made strokes across the piano from one end to the other making the sounds he needs to banter with John.  This was so cool and lasted for a good three minutes.  My focus then went to Eddie on bass, plucking away as Chick inserts his two cents here and then abruptly ending.  Monstrous applause.

Eddie Gomez @ The Blue Note

Eddie Gomez @ The Blue Note

My Foolish Heart, another jazz standard by Victor Young, was to follow.  Mainly a solo piano piece, this was not to be Chick’s grand solo.  Eddie Gomez starts off very, very slow, dragging his bow across his bass.  With daunting pulls, he stood alone, his sound so deep and lovely.  I remember having to focus very hard as the table full of European tourists were drunk and talking loudly.  It is VERY hard for me to focus. I tried so hard. Luckily the manager came over and quieted them. It didn’t last long.  Did these people not know who they were watching?  I couldn’t believe their lack of manners.  This was not the show to be having a conversation and I was NOT the neighbor to be having a conversation by.  I only had to ask them once.  I was livid for a hot minute and I quickly let the music sooth me.  Heal my anger.  It didn’t take more then a few notes, a sip of my wine and a bite of my lovely salad to be put back into my happy place.  I fell in love with Eddie at this moment.  It was simply magnificent.

Eddie was playing this technically classical jazzy song all by himself and he had hooked me into a dream world as I closed my eyes and let his sound take me over.  There is something about how he played. I could have listened to it for hours. It was the most soothing part of the night. This was not jazz.  This was classical goodness and with the bass! So much appreciation!! It went on for quite some time…and then John comes back in…

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

As I sit there listening, I realize that the songs have been mashed up as Disney’s Snow White’s Someday My Prince Will Come was teased amongst the songs.  In my head I start singing:”A Dream That You Wish Will Come True”.  I also feel as though Norah JonesThe Nearness of You was teased by John.  I thought of my sister and wished she was there to hear this.

John Scofield @ The Blue Note

John Scofield @ The Blue Note

John Coltrane’s Bessie’s Blues brought us a new song, a new sound. Chick starts plunking the keys, pacing the song.  Straight Jazz.  Medium pulls on the bass strings, Eddie is very evident in this song.  Just a yummy jazzy song, all instruments playing at their leisure…that whole organized chaos vibe going on.  John pulled out a faster guitar here and during his solos, shredded his guitar with his face in a million different directions.  Chick’s fingers were moving fast as lighting.  John strums his guitar.  These two were just killing it and this became my favorite song of the night.  Eddie started playing so hard that you could hear his breathing over the music…his voice came out and he couldn’t help it.  And with an oh-so-bluesy ending, more applause and a huge smile on Chick’s face 🙂

Chick on Mic

Chick on Mic

The final song was Bill Evans’ Peri’s Scope.  I think that was the only Bill Evans song they performed to be honest unless that Song #1 is his.  This is not something that held back my happiness one bit. The night had been glorious and it wasn’t even close to being over.  A typical jazzy tune, John filling in for the horn section, it was lovely.  The piano was playful and John and Chick banter with their instruments. So upbeat, light. Soft taps of the cymbals and paced pulls of the bass strings. They were having fun and we felt it.

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

I felt as if it were over as soon as it begun.  I was in love with what I had seen and actually needed more.  Right then.  But there would be no encore and I had been surrounded by overly chatty people, the old gentleman behind me was drunk and HUMMED the entire set.  These things didn’t matter! Within a few minutes I was up out of my chair and ready to go straight up meet these legends.   And that is exactly what I did.  To the Green Room…

John Scofield and TR @ The Blue Note

John Scofield and TR @ The Blue Note (05.12.10)

Upon first meeting John, he asks me if I play guitar.  He asks my girlfriend the same question.  I believe he asks all the ladies this question as his follow up statement was “YIPPIE, I have girl fans.”  LOL!!!  The man was genuinely intrigued and a conversation began between the three of us that continued on for some time.  I lost track of my entire life during that time.  We spoke of the Montreal Jazz Festival, music, guitars, songs, NYC…to transcribe it would take forever and it’s times like these that I don’t need to write down for I will never forget these moments…

Chick Corea and TR @ The Blue Note (05.12.10)

Chick Corea and TR @ The Blue Note (05.12.10)

Upon meeting Chick, he wasn’t as excited but wasn’t fan-blocking me or anything either haha.  We talked about the set, this is the point we discussed song titles and I missed a few as I lost my mind a little during this meeting as well.  There are some artists where I can talk to them like they are family but there are others I can’t even look in the eyes for fear I might explode or turn to stone.  Yeah, it’s like that.  Just so much love for their music, I almost can’t speak to them cause, really, want me to be brutally honest??  The person is so different from the music and I am terrified of changing my relationship with the music.  I don’t generally like to have big sit downs with artists I like.  But when I do, I PRAY they are as genuine as their music.

In this case, Chick and John were lovely people, Eddie and Paul included, even though I barely spoke three words to them having the attention of Chick for a few minutes and John for a few minutes…that was good enough for me.  My friend and I raged the Green Room area for a bit meeting Chick’s wife, who was covered in what I referred to as “glitter.”  She corrected me and said, “Fairy Dust.”  She was a kindred spirit for sure.  After about 30 minutes of straight chillen, my girlfriend and I left The Blue Note completely speechless.  As we walked down the street, neither of us talked but I knew exactly what she was thinking: HOLY SHIT!!  THAT – JUST – HAPPENED!!!

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Gulf Oil Spill ~ How You Can Help!

If you are like me, you have found the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill to be a nauseating tragedy.  In order to help with the wildlife and habitat recovery efforts, organizations and individuals have readied themselves for the fight to protect the water, land and wildlife that sits in the path of the oil sheen. Visualize and understand the devastation at If This Was My Home!

I am asking YOU to take action! Here are some ways you can help and other resources for staying on top of the story.  Thanks to everyone who helped me gather this important information.

The oil slick as seen from space by NASA's Terra satellite on May 17, 2010

The oil slick as seen from space by NASA's Terra satellite on May 17, 2010

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Gulf Relief Foundation

Music has always been a huge part in any major relief effort.  This tragedy is not excluded.  The Gulf Aid: Concert for the Coast was held on May 15, 2010 but they are still collecting donations.

For Donations:
A 501 C3 Non-Profit Corporation
P.O. Box 61035
New Orleans, LA 70161

For Correspondence:
P.O. Box 6917
Metairie, LA 70009

PH 504-841-2380

Gulf Aid On Twitter

Gulf Aid On Facebook

Email info@gulfaid.org

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Volunteer Match

VolunteerMatch is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening communities by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect.

VolunteerMatch Support:

Email: support@volunteermatch.org
Phone: (415) 241-6872
Fax: (415) 520-9650

Main Office:

Phone: (415) 241-6868
Fax: (415) 241-6869

Mailing Address:
VolunteerMatch
717 California St., Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108

Volunteer Match on Twitter

Volunteer Match on Facebook

Volunteer Match on Myspace

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Nature Conservancy

is a US charitable environmental organization working to preserve the plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.  If you’re not on the scene but still want to help, you can make a donation to Nature Conservancy.

Physical Address

Worldwide Office
The Nature Conservancy
4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203-1606

Worldwide Office: +1 (703) 841-5300

Other Nature Conservancy Offices

Nature Conservancy on Twitter

Nature Conservancy on Facebook

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Fuck BP

While I was watching Hangout Festival on IClips, Ben Harper made a special speech about this petition site!  I apologize for the foul name, but I am sure you feel the same way the creators of Fuck BP do.  It is a petition to make BP clean up thier mess! Yes, it is harsh title but I am pretty sure we are all feeling angry enough to use that word over and over again.

Please sign the petition located on this Website: http://www.fuckbp.net/

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Voice of the Wetlands

With a donation button and an up-to-date news feed, this site is focused on driving awareness and developing educational outlets/programs about the loss of the wetlands in southern Louisiana.  VOW was started by musician Tab Benoit who was born and raised in Houma, LA – one of the communities born of the wetlands. Tab along with Rueben Williams and a coalition of local artists and business leaders recognized the urgency to save their homes and the culture of southern Louisiana, thus creating Voice of the Wetlands.

Website: http://www.voiceofthewetlands.org/

If you are able to volunteer,
please call (866) 448-5816 or (281) 366-5511
Please help today and for the future.

Voice of the Wetlands on Myspace

Voice of the Wetlands on Facebook

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Matter Of  Trust

One program that has been extremely successful in soaking up oil spills, saving wildlife and ecosystems, uses mats made of human and animal hair.    Here is the website for information: www.Matteroftrust.org

Matter of Trust is a non-profit organization that invites salons, pet groomers and the abundantly coiffed to send leftover hair trimmings for use in highly absorbent hair mats and booms.  According to their website, “Hair is very efficient at collecting oil out of the air, off surfaces like your skin and out of the water, even petroleum oil.” The group boasts twelve locations across region that are ready to receive human and pet hair, and hundreds of volunteers participating in “Boom B Q” parties stuffing the donated locks into recycled nylons to form booms that can be strung along beaches and marshes. Related link: Organization combing country for spare hair to fight oil slick

As interesting as the process is, the focus must be for us to mobilize by immediately making our hairdressers and dog groomers aware of this program.   Call today and ask them to put the hair they sweep up in a clean garbage bag.  Then, tonight register through the website (it’s FREE), and Monday pounds lifesaving hair can be on its way to the plant. You can help by getting a haircut!  Thank you for considering this action.  A call and a hair cut to save the Gulf Coast.  What an idea!

MAILING ADDRESS

Main office – Small office (not a warehouse) for letters and post only

Matter of Trust, Inc.
99 St. Germain Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94114 USA

Please DO NOT SEND HAIR, fur, waste wool etc. to this address.

Please see Instructions.

Email: team@matteroftrust.org
.Main:…….415 242-6041
.Press: > ..415 235-2403
Funding:>.415 235-2403

Matter of Trust on Twitter

Matter of Trust on Facebook

Mailing address for oil spill hair mat program donations:
(Hair, fur, waste wool, fleece, natural fiber donors, please first see Instructions.  We are emailing all donors addresses for warehouse spaces along the Gulf Coast and all participants will get our Gulf Spill Response alert email.)

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Deepwater Horizon Response Unified Command

Deepwater Horizon Response Unified Command is urging the public to report any breaks in the nearly 1.2 million feet of boom that have been placed throughout the Gulf of Mexico. To report an incident, call 1-866-448-5816.

In addition, the group is soliciting the public’s ideas for “stopping the flow of oil into the Gulf, containing or recovering it, or cleaning it up.” Click here to submit your suggestion, or alternatively, call 281-366-5511.

To contact the Deepwater Horizon Joint Information Center: 985.902.5231

Related link: BP’s suggestion box is spilling over

Deepwater Horizon Response Unified Command on Facebook

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International Bird Rescue Research Center

The International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) lets you support the 16 members of their Oil Spill Response Team, as well as other non-profit organizations working in the region, by “donating, becoming a member or adopting a bird.”

International Bird Rescue Research Center on Facebook

International Bird Rescue Research Center on Twitter

International Bird Rescue Research Center on Youtube

IBRRC’s blog: Documenting their work with injured birds

FAQ: How the IBRRC treats oiled birds

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Louisiana Bucket Brigade

The Louisiana Bucket Brigade’s Oil Spill Crisis Map lets Gulf Coast residents report “sightings of fishermen out or work, endangered wildlife, oil on shore, oil sheens, health impacts and other problems.” Information can be submitted in a variety of ways.

Reports can be made and viewed at http://oilspill.labucketbrigade.org.

Mobile phone users can text or call in reports to  (504) 27 27 OIL.

Reports can also be sent to bpspillmap@gmail.com and through Twitter with the hashtag #BPspillmap.

Eyewitness reports for the map require a description, and location information such as address, city and state, zip-code or coordinates. Citizen reporters can remain anonymous or disclose their contact information. Photos and video can be uploaded via the web.

Click here for more on the organization’s efforts

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National Wildlife Federation

The National Wildlife Federation, in partnership with its colleagues in the Gulf states, is recruiting volunteers for an “extensive volunteer wildlife surveillance network.”

National Wildlife Federation on Facebook

National Wildlife Federation on Twitter

Click here for more information on joining the effort.

Also accepting pledges via your mobile device. Text “WILDLIFE” to 20222 to donate $10 to the organization’s “on-the-ground volunteer and restoration efforts.”

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WWL-AM

WWL-AM, a news-talk radio station, is on nothing other than the oil spill story. You can listen live here: WWL.com.

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Times-Picayune

From the Times-Picayune Staff, more Gulf oil spill phone numbers and websites:

To submit alternative response technology, services or products: 281.366.5511

To submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system: 281.366.5511

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EPA

Oil Spill Recovery Page: http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/

For information about validated environmental air and water sampling results, visit the EPA’s website.

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The Coalition to Restore Costal Lousiana

The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is looking for volunteers to “fill a variety of needs.” Pre-veterinary students, veterinary technicians, and anyone with HAZWOPER training (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard) are “strongly encouraged” to register.

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
6160 Perkins Road
Suite# 225
Baton Rouge, La 70808

Telephone: 225.767.4181 office
Toll-Free: 888LACOAST (888.522.6278)
Fax: 225.768.8193 fax

Email: coalition@crcl.org

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Mobile Baykeeper

Mobile Baykeeper is raising money in response to the oil spill in order to protect “the beauty, health, and heritage of the Mobile Bay Watershed.” 

Mobile Baykeeper
300 Dauphin Street, Suite 200
Mobile, AL 36602

E-mail info@mobilebaykeeper.org
Phone: (251) 433-4BAY (4229) or Toll Free 1-888-433-4460
Fax: (251) 432-8197

Mobile Bay Keeper on Facebook

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Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board

The Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board is connecting BP with fisherman looking to aid in the cleanup effort.

If interested call: 281-366-5511

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 300
New Orleans, La 70122

PHONE: 504-286-8736
FAX: 504-286-8738

E-mail: HorizonSupport@OEGLLC.com.

Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board On Facebook

Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board On Twitter

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National Audobon Society

The National Audubon Society is recruiting volunteers in the fight to save “ecologically sensitive areas.” Visit their website to fill out a volunteer registration form. Here are thier Current Advocacy Campaigns.

MAIN OFFICE:
National Audubon Society
225 Varick Street
7th floor
NY, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 979-3000

STATE OFFICES AND CHAPTERS: Centers Locator

National Audobon Society on Facebook

National Audobon Society on Twitter

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Other Websites

Seabird Sanctuary has 300 volunteers on “stand-by” to assist with the Gulf Oil Spill if it impacts Florida.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation has set up a fund to help some communities that will be affected by the oil spill.

To report injured or oiled wildlife, call 1-866-557-1401. To report spill-related damage, call 1-800,440-0858, and to inquire about volunteering, or to report oil on the shore, call 1-866-448-5816.

OilSpillVolunteers.com also provides the opportunity sign up and assist with the cleanup.

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Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

(179 McDougal Street)

(w/ Higher Nebulae, D.V.S., & Orchard Lounge)

Show Pamplet

Show Pamplet

In my mind, I consider myself just beginning to learn about (and possibly appreciate) these late night NYC music scenes.  A scene where the music doesn’t start until 11:00pm, maybe.  A scene where, unless you asked for help, you can’t find the door to the establishment, a scene hidden under the bowels of the city streets.   I normally rage a live concert where the doors open at 6pm and the show start at 8pm.  And THEN, if I have the energy (if?…who are we kidding?), I end up in a dark and grimy basement venue for the remainder of the night.  Most of the time it’s because a friend has talked me into raging harder and not because I feel as though there will be true talent on a stage.  To me, these are the times to mingle and dance till your a puddle of water on the floor.  I have no idea what is going on music wise as…how do I put this….it doesn’t register to me as live music.  It just doesn’t.

Rage Equipment!

Rage Equipment!

Dj-ing is clearly an art.  Sampling music, producing sounds, splicing tunes, putting them back together like a puzzle.  I get it.  I can see the DJs gears working in my mind’s eye when I hear some of the get-down beats we dance too.  And when they rage, I stop dancing and I embrace the lift in the room’s energy, nodding my head in recognition that they just mixed a dope track that got the floor jumpin’.  So, I love it, don’t get me wrong.  I do dance into a puddle and I have fun but it’s not the same thing if it’s just a person and their turntables.  It doesn’t drag me in and make my jaw drop.

Now, take that atmosphere, with that talented puzzle maker and throw in a live instrument.  Like Break Science who has Adam Deitch on the drums bringing forth that extra layer that makes it intoxicating, or The Sullivan Street Shakedown, which combines DJs with numerous live instruments rotated each month.  It lies in the fact that it’s alive to me at that moment.  It’s organic.  I can see it being created.  Tonight, I would be enjoying the performance of Jeff Bujak and he brought me exactly what I needed to have my jaw drop.

Rage equipment!

Rage equipment!

The show was held at Club Love.  Never having been before, I immediately was drawn to the name, wondering what it must look like.  I imagined it being dimly lit, a loungy-vibe with bright tones like purples, yellows and reds.  Slightly Disco-esque with plush couches and anything you would find in a Austin Powers movie.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

With no sign to the establishment and the entrance being a door hidden by on of those large gate walls that businesses pull down when they close up shop, I only knew I was in the right spot thanks to the store owners around the area.  The show was to start at 10pm but I don’t think the doors even opened until 11pm.  I went across the street for a beer with the three other people foolish enough to come so early…see, I am still learning.

Rage Equipment!

Rage Equipment!

Upon entering Love, you head down the stairs into a dark, concrete floored, cavern-like basement and are forced either left or right.  If you choose right, you are met with the room that would be throwing us the get down grinds.  Probably holds about 250 (??) comfortably, one wall had bench style seating but that was it.  This was a room for dancing.  Period. There was a bar set up with caution tape around it, I assumed to give the waitress some room?  Flat out, not cool waitress.  I bought a $7 beer, gave her a $10 and she just ran with it.  When I asked her for my change, she was like “What? You want me to give you back 2 bucks?”  First of all, take a math course and Poor Service!!!  Seriously? Does it matter?  I used to be a waitress and I was a friggen princess even when I wanted to kill someone.  I will NEVER get used to the poor customer service practices in New York City.  There is TRULY nothing comparable in terms of shitty attitude .  Needless to say,  I was not amused.

Dancing and Hula Hooping

Dancing and Hula Hooping

There was no “stage” per say, just a portion of the floor that had been utilized for the equipment.  As well, there was an elevated portion that held the DJs booth.  I got to be sadly honest and admit that the front of the DJ booth was so high, I could barely see the tops of the DJ’s heads, let alone see them do their thing.  That made me sad.  But I am sure the rest of the world saw the Dj’s as they are all over 5 foot zero!!

If you took a left from Love’s entrance, you are taken to the restrooms, another bar and a separate room that looks cave-ish, like the walls were made of crappy styrafrom, the other walls were glass so that the patrons in the room were viewable from the bar area.  This room was for those who might need to take a rest from the intensity in the other room.  It is small but with stadium seating, more like concrete stairs.  It’s always good to have one of these rooms to retreat into when you have partied to hard.

Higher Nebulae started the night off with some dirty dance beats. There was some gospel layers and rock layers all with some deep whoomping bass.  When the bass beats were dropped we were given some familiar rock favorites and unexpected old school gems such as Metallica‘s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.”

D.V.S.

D.V.S.

Like I said, it’s hard for me to focus on the music when it’s just the DJs so I was wondering around trying to catch a buzz with the $10 beer in hand and attempting to get in the right frame of mind to dance into that puddle I was talking about.  The Banana Mafia was out in full force greeting what appeared to be half the venue who had come under his list.  He brought the energy, he brought in the dancers.  I appreciated that!  However, this Mafia member was without his Banana Suit?  Is that even allowed?  Am I supposed to be outing him over the internet?  Opps.  Either way, he raged all over that dance floor, as well as his friends, and we all had a blast together!!

D.V.S. was up next, his real name being Derek VanScoten.  Where as Jeff Bujak uses a piano to layer on top of his electronic beats, D.V.S. uses a Telecaster guitar.  I stopped my mingling and started focusing on D.V.S..  His music mixed Hip-hop, Soul and even Motown.  He sampled Jimi Hendrix‘s “Foxy Lady” and raged a great guitar during his samples.  He has recently toured as a solo artist supporting Ana Sia, Big Gigantic, Beats Antique, Boombox, Lynx & Janover, JFJO, and M80 Dubstation.  Honestly, not sure if I cared for him that much.  It didn’t do anything for me.

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Let’s talk about Jeff Bujak, the man of the hour!  Duuuuude.  Having just discovered him earlier this summer at Rock The Resort, I was VERY eager to see him again live.  Jeff Bujak is a true musician.  A truly technically talented piano player who, from the moment I stepped foot into his performance at RTR, has had me hooked.  To me, when I listen to his music at home, Jeff reminds me of a mix between Tori Amos and Bruce Hornsby. I could come up with a ton of combination but seriously, his music is beautiful and quirky and demanding with organized chaos and it is all his own! He has coined his music “Intelligent Dance Music.”  Intriguing, no?

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff comes armed with everything needed to run his one-man show including light, sound, and smoke.  Cables and pedals everywhere, there is a laptop, a sound deck and his dual level keyboard at the helm of his personal electronic monster.  There is a row of lights above his left shoulder flashing us the light show in various colors and mixed to rage with the beat. His shoes were off and the show began.

The set list:

SET 1
Utopia > Kicker > Crowd > Machinist > Slimmy > Cascadation > Sunny’s Song* > PUTV > Mutator

* written by Benevento-Russo Duo (section of)

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Utopia got it started with a synthesizer drop and a deep beat. Very quickly the layering of faster beats were released and right away it was a dance party.  His songs have catchy samples, this one, sampling Cake’s The Distance by using the lyrics “Reluctantly crouched at the starting line…”  After a while, amid the heavy beat of smashing cymbals, I feel a reggae vibe that quickly turns back into a deep electronic beat.

Kicker into Crowd brought us the classical, straight out gorgeous technical chamber piano skills that I adore him for.  These gorgeous notes layer over the rest of the dance worthy beats.  They are hit hard, there are sounds of electric guitars playing but I know that is Bujak manipulating the keys.  The sequenced drum loops made it sound like the drummer was in the room with us at times.  Then we got a little more of the pure keys, nothing manipulated, just beautiful piano sounds.  It’s a gorgeous mixture of electronic and organic.  I mean, there is just GORGEOUS composition amongst his hectic beats.

So, being that I am a romantic female, I found it to be just lovely music and I was pleased to see mainly men in that basement dancing.  In reality, I wondered if these wookies heard what I heard.  They were certainly dancing to the beats but I wonder if they realized just how good he sounded in that basement.  Club Love is rumored as having one of the best sound systems, so perhaps that helped.  There are parts of the songs that got so slow and so sensual.  Preferring to be a stand alone dancer at most shows I attend, it was my pleasure to dance intelligently with some dudes that night to this intelligent music.  A real pleasure. 😉

The music pierced my ear drums and so my ear plugs remained in the entire night.  I love my ear plugs because they helps break down the sounds and I can hear the music very clearly.  I recognized that I was in a grimy basement but being raised on Broadway shows and Classical theater and concerts, I was able to close my eyes and get thrown into the plush seats I imagined earlier.   The raging beats faded away and all I could hear was the gorgeous classical technical training he was throwing at us.

The music sounded like this (around 5:15ish mins he busts out the chamber piano):

But my mind would shut out parts and I would just hear something that sounded like this, beats faded away…just gorgeous:

Machinist is a song that amuses me. I imagine being at an Insane Clown Posse  or 311 show raging out and then Jeff layers some beautiful unmanipulated organized piano playing over it.  That is what does it for me.  I know I always say I love my horns, but I grew up listening to my father plays his piano every night after dinner while I cleared the table and did the dishes.  This fact also makes me overly critical towards keys players and I don’t have a single negative thing to say about Jeff’s work. It was a complete package, a complete pleasure.

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Slimmy was mainly a synthesizer song and pretty sure I heard some Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” in the mix.  It was HEAVY, deep, and a raging dance song.  This producer/composer really does delivers a vibrant sound so full of melodic energy it stirs even the most timid of dancers. No one was sitting. I make my way up to Jeff’s side, watching him play…oh the essence of a musician when they are in the zone.  Sometimes I swear can feel their energy radiate off them.  It’s what brings tears to my eyes sometimes.  We stand in the audience in love with these musician’s music but what we have to remember is they either love or hate what they are playing as well and you can fell it, you can see it.  The lights and the music and the venue were helping big time.  It was so beautiful and overwhelming.  One man was making all this happen.

I stepped outside for an adventure during Cascadation so I can’t tell you anything about that song. That is one you will just have to go and see to experience 🙂  I came back in towards the end of Sunny’s Song, partially written by Benevento-Russo Duo. Pretty, melodic, slower then the rest.  PUTV gave us a manipulated synthed start to the song with samplings from Eric B. & Rakim’s “Pump Up The Volume” gently layered on top of the rest of the tune.  He goes back and forth between the manipulated sounds and the organic sound the ivories make.  Again, the looped drum beats are stellar and fast forcing Bujak’s fingers to go full blast.

Mutator was last for the evening. To be honest, I wasn’t sure when one song ended or began.  My notes are full of lines where I believe one ends and another beings, arrows shooting up the page because I felt as if he had gone from one song to another and back again, not sure.  Sometimes it was clear and other times it was so well-played that if the change occurred, I had no clue where it was.

Here is the video I took of Jeff @ Club Love…sorry for the sound quality. I had my ear plugs in and it sounded GORGEOUS and crisp in my ear…you get the point 🙂

Orchard Lounge raged our faces off for the rest of the evening but I will have to review them another time.  Jeff was what had brought me here tonight. I had come with the intentions of leaving after Jeff’s set but there was NO WAY. Not only was I one of the first people to arrive that night, I ended up being one of the last people to leave.  Jeff hung out a bit and, when we weren’t dancing, I wandered with my dance partner, getting in to trouble here and there, totally full of energy.  It was a great night and all thank to Jeff….thanks Buj 🙂  Be sure to check out Jeff Bujak’s newest full-length released on Harmonized Records:  “Alive Like the Spine

And as I hit PUBLISH, the irony is not lost on me as I listen to my neighbor begin giving one of her lovely piano lessons…..life is magnificent!

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TAYLOR SWIFT ~ AMERICA’S VIRGIN

(By Brett B.)

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

I have 3 kids. Yes, even people like me are allowed to breed unabated in America. Deal with it. I have 2 boys and a daughter. Love them all. May not always like them but I will always love them. They’re kids. It is their moral imperative to annoy, aggravate and piss off their parents. We did it to ours, now they do it to us. Hakuna matata.

I , like many fathers, am constantly being told that I do not show my daughter enough attention. That she feels like I don’t do things with her like I do the boys. Fine. We’re playing ZOMBIE BLOODBATH on the Wii. Grab a controller and join the farting contest already in progress. OK, not exactly what a 9 year old girl wants to spend her evening doing. I get it.

So, her birthday was last week. Turning 10. A big birthday. Going from single digits to double. Here’s my chance to look good to the kid. Coincidentally last week Taylor Swift was doing 2 sold out shows here in Jersey. Of course, both were sold out. How else would I be able to have to resort to StubHub and pay $400 for 3 $75 tickets?

Prudential Center, NJ

Prudential Center, NJ

Now here is where we discuss my kid and her taste in music. If she had her way her iPod would be full of Lady GaGa, Justin Bieber, The Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana. Since I control the downloads in the house, her iPod loaded with stealth cuts from Blondie, The Go-Gos, The Detroit Cobras and Aretha Franklin. And Taylor Swift.

We get to the Prudential Center and the kid has no idea where we are or what is going on. It was a total surprise. Ten feet from the door I give her the tickets and watch her eyes pop out of their sockets and she begins to squeal like someone is deflating a balloon. Very cute and over the top. She is if anything dramatic. We go in and she then finds out that Daddy Cool got her VIP Box seats. All you can eat buffet. Full bar. Sundae station. The whole 9 yards. ‘Cuz that’s how Daddy Cool rolls. Plus, it was all for the kid.

At one point my wife leaned over to me and said, “Little out of your element here, huh?” Understatement of the evening. Taylor Swift’s audience is 90% screaming tweenage girls dressed like they are 21 and on spring break, 3% young teenage boys just beginning to grow hair in strange places with confused feelings for girls and 7% parents who got dragged into driving the other 93% of the crowd to the arena.

But the best part of the evening? Taylor Swift puts on one of the best concerts I have ever seen. I mean totally gives her audience the show it came to see. Songs with great hooks. A dazzling stage show. And a truly sincere enjoyment out of what she is doing. You cannot ask more from any performer.

Sure the songs are written by a starry-eyed 19 year old who still believes in Romeo & Juliet and writes songs about her first kiss.
But you know what? Those are the kinds of songs I want my little girl to hear.

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The 41st New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival:

A Russ Agdern Perspective: Thursday, April 29, 2010

(The Fairgrounds Reopen, Marisa Arrives, Let’s Zydeco!)

Mr. Russ Agdern

Mr. Russ Agdern

(Read Russ’s “Wednesday, April 28, 2010″ here)

Cake Cafe (Photo by Bryna Stiefel)

Cake Cafe (Photo by Bryna Stiefel)

So after a five hour sleep, I shower, get dressed, catch up with my buddy for a minute, then it’s off to the Cake Café for a croissant and up the Fairgrounds for Day 1.  It’s a little overcast, the perfect kind of Fest day, not too hot and sunny.  Text my folks to let em know I’m on my way.  Stop to buy water from the same lady I buy water from outside the fest every year, grab my cubes (slang, term to describe Jazz Fest schedule) and tell the nice lady hanging out to remember me and not be surprised when I sweat through them and come back every day.  Get my stuff searched, my ticket scanned, and wow, I’m in.  HAPPY JAZZFEST!

Fais DO DO Stage (Photo by allentomdude)

Fais DO DO Stage (Photo by allentomdude)

For those who don’t know about Jazz Fest, there are three stages you always need to make time to check out: the Gospel Tent, the Jazz and Heritage Stage, and the Fais Do-Do (pronounced Fay doughdough) Stage.  Just do it; make the time.  Because at each of those spaces, there’s a really good chance you’ll hear someone you’ve never heard of before making incredible music.

McMain High School Gospel Choir

McMain High School Gospel Choir

I learned this lesson really well in 2008 and I try to stick to it, so seeing as it’s the first venue on the way in, I grab a seat in the Gospel Tent to check out the McMain High School Gospel Choir.  Local high school, apparently, I know nothing about them and sit down.  WOW.  Amazing!  Unbelievable voices, poise, energy, showmanship.  Just incredible!  All kinds of soloists started doing amazing things, and their band, comprised of high school musicians, was incredibly tight!  Texted my wife that the choir was so good I was thinking about converting, and the Gospel tent is so good it wasn’t the first or last time I’ve made that joke.

Kirk Joseph (Photo By Jeff Dupuis)

Kirk Joseph (Photo By Jeff Dupuis)

While there, I figured out roughly how my day was going to go, then made my way over to LB and her Krewe of folks at the fairgrounds.  LB  is a Jazzfest vet, having been many times, and I had the pleasure of bonding with her about Jazzfest at a Big Sam show last year, so we’ve been hitting great funk shows together since then.  Her Krewe had a nice spot by the Acura (main 1) stage, and I went to check out Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove.  Kirk Joseph is the original sousaphone player of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and is credited by many with taking Sousaphone playing into the realm of replacing an electric bass in a funk band.  This style of Sousaphone playing, taken up by others like “Tuba Phil” Frazier of the Rebirth Brass Band, has become the standard for many Brass Bands around the world, and Joseph was one of the innovators, so I wanted to see what his new band was putting down.  Nice lineup, multiple horns including what looked like a baritone horn (smaller version of a regular tuba), keys, guitar, and a couple of singers.  Doing a nice mix of funky stuff, flirtatious titles (don’t let me have a taste if I don’t get to have the whole thing), and stuff with a message about living together.

Prejean's pheasant, quail and andouille gumbo (Photo by Prejean's Restaurant)

Prejean's pheasant, quail and andouille gumbo (Photo by Prejean's Restaurant)

Speaking of tastes, it wouldn’t be Fest without the food!  Went off to get my first tastes of Fest, including the Pheasant, Quail and Andouie Gumbo from Prejeans that I look forward to every year, as well as the stuffed mushrooms that are just delicious.  And the nice folks at Prejeans gave me a FREE BOWL!  After I stopped to take a sip, I groaned at how good the stuff is.  One of the folks behind the table asked me why I stopped, I told her it tasted just like I remembered it did last year, and she handed me another bowl without waiting.  Awesome!  Some to share with LB’s buddies of the Superchill Krewe.  Yeah you right!

Dumpstaphunk (Photo by Jason Moran)

Dumpstaphunk (Photo by Jason Moran)

Nothing else grabbed my fancy, so I decided to stay put at Acura and give Dumpstaphunk a real chance.  I always kind of a weird feeling about them-  I feel about musical families the way I feel about royal families- having the name doesn’t impress me, you have to bring it.  Being Art Neville’s nephew and playing keys made me a little wary- I’m a huge devotee of Poppa Funk, and didn’t want to see someone up there just b/c of the name.  But Ivan really brought it on keys and with some great energy on vocals as well.  By the second tune, “Turn This Thing Around” which was talking about helping folks that need a hand, I was really digging the groove.  In some ways, Dumpstaphunk reminded me of a mix between the tight funk of the Meters and the cosmic slop of P-Funk.  Nasty grooves and a good message?  Sign me up.  Ivan and the whole crew were serious business, and I’m sorry I ever had a thought that he wasn’t earning it, because Ivan is a monster on them keys.

Walter Payton with Snapbeans & Gumbo Filé

Walter Payton with Snapbeans & Gumbo Filé

But as the crew was rampaging through “Put it in the Dumpsta” I checked the time and realized it was time to see an old friend.  Walter Payton, Jazz Bassist extraordinaire, music education giant of New Orleans, father of trumpet star Nicholas Payton, and longtime stalwart of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, was playing with his group, Snap Ppeas and Gumbo File, at the Economy Hall Tent.  The Economy Hall tent is one of three Jazz stages at Jazzfest, the stage representing traditional, New Orleans Jazz.  I had the pleasure of making friends with Walter on my first trip to New Orleans in 1999, and always try to get out and see him at Fest.  This was especially important this year as he had a stroke at the beginning of the year, so I really wanted to see him.  And it was tough. The musicianship was great, he had some tremendous folks playing with him, including guitar wizard June Yamagishi (from Papa Grows Funk, among other things) and a couple great singers and dancers.  But he wasn’t nearly as gregarious as previous years, one could tell he wasn’t quite recovered from the stroke and it made me quite sad.  When I spoke with one of the staff of Preservation Hall about Walter on Monday, she and I both started to tear up as she talked to me about him not wanting to slow down, wanting to keep going and pushing himself a little too hard to get back.  I made her promise to tell him I send my best and she did.  It’s a sad thing to see good people not quite at their best.  Here’s hoping for a continued speedy recovery, Walter.  The music world, and really the whole world needs you better.  Readers, if you’re not sure you agree, check out this great video of Walter singing the Louis Armstrong classic, “Shimmy Like My Sister Kate”

Mardi Gras Indian (Photo by Mica Lawson)

Mardi Gras Indian (Photo by Mica Lawson)

Having a bit of time to kill before Dr. Klaw, my next must see, I headed over to catch Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes and the Louisiana Sunspots over at the Congo Square stage.  On the way, I got caught in some second line fun with some Mardi Gras Indians and the Paulin Brothers Brass Band.  Oh yeah, if ten stages of unbelievable music isn’t enough for you, there are often Brass Bands and Mardi Gras Indians parading through the fairgrounds at random times.

Paulin Brothers Brass Band (Photo by Maitri)

Paulin Brothers Brass Band (Photo by Maitri)

So after waving around a napkin and shaking it with the Paulin Brothers Brass Band, who were just great, went off to see Sunpie.  Sunpie is impressive, multi instrumentalist, great singer, and a big presence.  He apparently used to play football, he’s a tall dude.  He’s also all over the place, playing WWOZ’s piano night, playing with his own band, later on that weekend with the Mardi Gras Indians Orchestra, and on the awesome new Ensemble Fatien disc.  I was looking forward to catching him and the Sunspots later that night at the Mid City Lanes annual Legends of Zydeco show, but wanted to catch a peek now.  He didn’t disappoint, romping through Louis Jordan’s “Choo Choo Ch’boogie” and a couple others before I danced my way back to the Jazz and Heritage Stage for Dr. Klaw.  Some really great accordion work, and that band is awful tight.

Alright Dr. Klaw!  Dr. Klaw is one of these bands that only exists in a few places like Jazz Fest and Jam Cruise, a mutant mash up of Chapter 2, represented by Eric Krasno on guitar and some vocals, Adam Deitch on drums, and Nigel Hall on Keys and vocals, and Dumpstaphunk, represented by Nick Daniels on bass and lead vocals and Ian Neville on guitar.  It was kinda weird to see a guitar based band at the Jazz and Heritage stage, but I didn’t mind it.  These guys were fantastic- Nick Daniels syncing up with Adam Deitch for some sick grooves, Eric Krasno letting it out and singing it out a lil bit, and Nigel laying down some tasty stuff on the keys.  Ian was good too, but seemed content to let Kras take the lead.  Ivan Neville was on the side of the stage most of the set, grooving and possibly chomping at the bit to get in the mix, but didn’t end up stepping in.  My personal highlight was Nick Daniels and Nigel Hall sharing vocals on a tasty as hell version of “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder.  It’s only halfway through Day 1 at the Fairgrounds, and I already got a “best covers of 2010” list brewing in my head.  The fellas headed into Nigel Hall’s “Leave Me Alone” but not being in the mood to hear that particular track, I bounded towards the track side of the Congo Square stage to get a good spot for the Soul Rebels Brass Band.

Soul Rebel Brass Band

Soul Rebel Brass Band

The Soul Rebels are one of New Orleans’ many great second generation Brass Band outfits.  I say second generation because you have older guard groups like the Treme Brass Band, the Paulin Brothers, and then, starting with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and of course, the mighty Rebirth Brass Band, you have a second wave of brass bands that combine the traditional music with Funk, R&B, Rock, and Hip Hop to make more contemporary flavored music.  The Soul Rebels have been around at least sixteen or seventeen years.  I got down with their groove for a bit before chatting a little with some folks that were set up near me, including a woman who asked me if I spoke Hebrew (in Hebrew).  Ah, the surprises of wearing a Hebrew letter Yankees hat to Jazz Fest.  She let me know there were actually a lot of Yids and Israelis at Jazz Fest, and that I should look out for the Krewe at, what else, the Israeli flag by Acura.

Someone bumps into me and it’s KD! KD is the person that finally went to Fest in 2007 and inspired me to get off my tuchus and go there, and she’s just good people.  Starting last year, she’s been “living the dream” and spending 12 days in New Orleans for Fest.  We catch up, she tells me where she’s been, who she’s been seeing and how she’s doing.  We both grumble at the mediocre hip hop stuff that’s entered the Soul Rebels set.  I’m sorry y’all, I’m from New York and I take Hip Hop seriously, so I’m kinda tough on folks dropping random things in.  Y’all wouldn’t like it if Talib Kweli picked up a saxophone and started half ass-ing “Do Whatcha Wanna” either.  Glad to see KD but feeling like a different energy, we hug and part ways, and I head back to the Jazz and Heritage stage to catch 101 Runners.

101 Runner (Photo by Kaarin Tisue)

101 Runner (Photo by Kaarin Tisue)

MAN!  What a difference!  These guys are pouring it out there, goin nuts over “Shallow Water” and whipping the crowd into a frenzy.  I have to say, watching people discover this stage is a favorite of mine.  People don’t know what to make of the Mardi Gras Indians groups but they get into them pretty quickly with their incredibly funky grooves and their catchy call and response melodies.  Perfect.  Off to snag a Loretta’s Praline and get a decent spot for Elvis Costello at the Gentilly Stage.  Well, I didn’t head over soon enough, because I can hear strains of a killer version of “Hey, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” wafting skyward as I approach.  The lawn is packed, no good spot for me.  I unfold the chair and grab a seat.

Elvis Costello @ Jazzfest 2010

Elvis Costello @ Jazzfest 2010

He’s performing some great stuff, and the local crowd has some real love for him as he’s been around the city post federal flood.  Does a few more great tunes I don’t know (I must confess to not knowing his catalog super well) and it’s great stuff… but for some reason, my soul is not there.  This is one thing that’s difficult to manage about Jazzfest- restless ears.  There’s so much good stuff happening at any one moment that it’s tough to stay in one place if you’re not feeling it.  So even though this was my first time seeing Elvis Costello, and even though he was great, and even though my friends reading this will probably smack me for saying this… I left Gentilly to end my day at another tent.

On my way to the main gate, I passed the Economy Hall tent, where there was a great tribute to Louis Prima happening, as part of the celebration of his 100th birthday.  One of Prima’s guitar players, Bobby Lonero, was leading a great band in a set of Prima classics.  Who could go wrong?  Great mash up of When You’re Smiling into Oh Marie, and then, when they asked the crowd for a request, everyone yelled for Just a Gigolo.  For those who don’t know, the David Lee Roth version was ripped off essentially note for note from Louis Prima’s arrangement.  Don’t believe me? Check this out:

John Popper @ Jazz Fet 2010

John Popper @ Jazz Fet 2010

Except Roth, the nice Jewish boy, leaves off my favorite part, when Prima is saying nobody/no one in multiple languages, including Yiddish at the end.  In any case, the band is doing a fantastic version of it, and while I know they’re doing a tribute, it’s putting a big smile on my face.  After they finish it, the band starts into “I’m Leaving You” Prima’s last song before he went into a coma and later passed, and not in a place to be down, I head towards the Blues tent where John Popper and the gents from Blues Traveler are closing out the day.  The harmonica work is great, and they launch into a great version of Sublime’s “What I Got” which is a great way to end the first day at the fairgrounds.  But, as you know from the previous post, this is not the end of the action, but merely half time, as it’s only 7pm and there will be music happening until sunrise tonight!

Upperline, NOLA

Upperline, NOLA

On the long walk to my rental car, I realize this is the only day I’ll be able to hit Upperline, an insanely delicious restaurant hidden between the garden district and the Tulane campus.  Not wanting to wait another year to have their insanely good Roast Duck with Garlic Port sauce, on a whim, I call to see if they have room for one.  If I can get there by 8pm, there’s a small table I can sneak into for an hour.  PERFECT!

The Monsters of Zydeco (nb, Mid City, y’all should really call it that next year) doesn’t start till 9ish, M’s flight lands at 10, delicious dinner, half hour of music, get M, 4 more hours of music.  Done!  I fly across town and, using my handy map (remember those, people? Who needs a GPS when you can read a freaking map!?!), and in 25 minutes, I go from Fairgrounds traffic to Upperline deliciousness.  As I sit down and order, I notice an African American gentleman heading towards the… holy crap, it’s DIESEL!  Karl Denson is playing a late show at Tipitina’s with his solo band, the Tiny Universe, and he apparently made time for one of New Orleans’ best restaurants as well. Yep, 2 out of 2 funky sax players agree, Upperline is the place to be.  I tuck in to my roast duck with praline pecan yams and, MAN, I am a happy camper.  Except when I look at my phone and find out that M’s flight, after first text that they were boarded and ready to go, is delayed.  NO!  Just so y’all know, M is my wife of 2 years, and one of the first things we’ve bonded over is Zydeco music.  Since the inception of the Monsters of Zydeco show in 08, I’ve been dying for her to get to Fest in time to see this show.  Sated and pleased with the meal but grumpy about the news, I make my way to Mid City Lanes.

Night Show review: Legends of Zydeco, Mid City Lanes, Thursday, 4/29.

Rock'N'Bowl, NOLA

Rock'N'Bowl, NOLA

I’ve been to the first two Monsters of Zydeco shows, and it’s pretty much all you could ask for in an all star show.  Four or Five of the very best artists in a style of music, playing full hour plus sets with their bands AND everyone is sitting in with each other as well.  Imagine four of your favorite rock bands getting together and doing something like that.  Awesome, right?  Except, this ACTUALLY happens at Rock’N’Bowl each year, unlike the all star concert in your head.

This show, as it was the last two years, is an absolute blast.  When you have Buckwheat Zydeco, CJ Chenier, Sunpie Barnes, Nathan Williams of Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, and old school Zydeco legend Clayton Sampy rocking out together, with zydeco and blues guitar master L’il Buck Sinegal leading the band, you know it’s gonna be a good party.  Sunpie was serving as the MC of the evening and doing a great job introducing everyone.  It seems that in Zydeco, there’s a lot of love to go around with all the musicians involved, and it certainly comes to the forefront on a night like this.

This year, while players were moving in and out, it was mostly Buckwheat’s band that formed a house band, with L’il Buck at the helm, and man, were they on it.  The people were on it, too, as the floor filled up with swingers and two steppers the second Sampy got it started.  I’ve been in Pantera and Primus mosh pits, and I can tell you it gets a little dangerous on the dance floor at Zydeco night at the Rock’N’Bowl.  Sampy played some great French language old school classics and the people were really feeling it.

Next up, Nathan Williams took a turn and he mixed a little more English into the songs and things got a bit more contemporary, there was the start of the mix of classic Zydeco and R&B, with Nathan leading the band in a rousing cover of “Hey Hey Hey Hey!” Nathan also put on quite a show, getting down on his knees at the front of the stage (he came right over to me several times, which was awesome) and hopping off the stage to play in the crowd.  Want some Zydeco..take a listen…

CJ Chenier

CJ Chenier

The sets were a good hour or so, and the set breaks were pretty short as they kept rotating in players.  Next up was Sunpie, and I was psyched to see the man take a turn- he got a serious groove going the dance floor was a frenzy!  Too bad I wasn’t getting to frenzy, thanks to the fools that delayed M’s flight… but wait, the phone’s ringing!  Hooray! M’s landed, and after Sunpie’s second song ends, I sprint to the car to go get her.  She hops in and we drive right back to the show as quick as possible.  We missed the end of Sunpie’s set, but CJ Chenier is getting started, and man, that guy can play. But hell, they all can play.  And while the other leaders/bands are coming on, everyone else stays and listens, and takes their cher out on the dance floor.  M and I would bump into CJ later on the floor during Buckwheat’s set.  CJ is going bananas, as is the band and the rest of the place.  CJ plays a good hour, dropping Hot Tamale Baby on us, and M and I twirl around the dance floor while trying not to get elbowed or body checked by another dancing couple.

Buckwheat Zydeco

Buckwheat Zydeco

We hit the set break, grab a drink, sit by an empty bowling alley and relax for a minute.  I find out that M is a complete trooper, having been up till 2 packing, gotten up at 6 and is still standing now and waiting for Buckwheat to come out.  What can I say, the girl loves her some Zydeco.  And Buckwheat didn’t disappoint.  We were especially psyched to cheer when the introduction of Buckwheat was no longer just about his Grammy nominations, but as a Grammy Winner!  Buckwheat burns immediately into “Whatcha Gonna Do?” and the place is going crazy.  CJ is dancing with someone and has a huge grin on his face.  Sunpie is out dancing too.  It’s fantastic- everyone is dancing, smiling and having a ball.  It’s Jazz Fest.  As the show winds down to a close, John Blanchard, Mid City Lanes Owner, asks everyone to clear a path, and one of the bartenders does ten or so back flips in a row!  Insane!  As the band is packing up, Sunpie decides we haven’t gotten enough, so he gives us a little Lagniappe (something extra) by firing up his accordion and singing some more.  CJ Chenier sits down at the organ to join him but for the first couple of minutes there’s no power, which Sunpie found out the hard way when he said “you got it, CJ” to give him a solo, and CJ yells (no mic, but audibly) “got what, I ain’t got nothin!” but finally the power gets back on and a washboard player jumps on stage, and they gave us another half hour of music!

Again, this is exactly what you want your All Star shows to be like- everyone doin their own thing and also doing it together.  For nearly six hours.  Yeah You Right!

I drove us back to our buddy’s spot, quieted the very energetic dog and helped M into bed.  After considering joining LB at Tips for KDTU’s show, I decided Fest is a marathon and I have many late nights still to go, so I climbed into bed with my baby at 3am instead of going back out- though not before predicting to LB that Robert Walter would sit in with KDTU that night and asking her not to tell me about it till the next day.  With my sweetie in town, and her fam due in the next day, and the alarm clock going off in 6.5 hours, Friday is going to be a fun day…

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