Louisiana Music on Display to Yankees

From the New York Times:

Tribute to New Orleans, Inside and Out


At Carnegie Hall, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band showed how easily it could hop from era to era. It could work like a rhythm-and-blues horn section or a tightly arranged little big band if need be, but it could also switch back into the polyphonic glories of vintage New Orleans jazz, in which nearly every instrument seems to improvise around the tune at the same time.

That’s what the band did on its own, in standards like “Bourbon Street Parade” (sung by its trumpeter, Mark Braud) — and, even more exuberantly, backing excerpts from the Trey McIntyre Project’s dance suite “Ma Maison,” with members in skeleton masks and harlequin costumes. The band also brought a New Orleans shimmy and wink to some of its guests: Tiffany Lamson of the Louisiana band Givers with “Just a Closer Walk With Thee,” and Ms. Garbus belting “Careless Love.”

The band was more somber for a doleful version of “St. James Infirmary” sung by Jim James of My Morning Jacket; the song then turned upbeat for a return of the dancers. For Mr. Earle’s “This City,” a tribute to New Orleans, the band deferred to his roots rock. But there was a dialogue between traditions when Mr. McCoury’s bluegrass band shared songs with Preservation Hall; clarinet and fiddle traded solos that stayed true to their own idioms, while the rhythm meshed.

A big finale filled the stage as the Blind Boys of Alabama; Mr. McCoury; and Preservation Hall’s saxophonist, Clint Maedgen took turns singing the gospel standard “I’ll Fly Away” backed by the night’s full roster. But after the guests cleared away, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band returned along with teenaged musicians from its Preservation Hall Junior Jazz Band, whose members get lessons from the elder band Musical Outreach. They played — of course — “When the Saints Go Marching In,” with an old-fashioned polyphonic swagger that promised continuity for another New Orleans generation.

Would love to see some video of this show.  I hope it gets posted soon!  Will share when I find it.

New Orleans: Preservation Hall Jazz band plays...

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Filed under art, Louisiana is awesome, music

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