Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Alice in Jazzfest Land-Pt. II" Steve Provizer

In Part I (see below), I vented about what I think is Jazzfest's ill-advised turn toward more BIG NAMES. In the spirit of generous top-ten-itude for which I am famous, here's a look at the more joyous aspects of the event:

1. The Jazz and Heritage Stage (Economy Hall), the traditional jazz tent. Here can be found a cohort of people who Second Line at the drop of a bandana. Black, white, young and real old, the bliss is palpable.
     Three Economy Hall highlights: Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders' rendition of Skoodle-um-Skoo (2) Doreen Ketchens-if Louis Armstrong had been a woman (and played clarinet), he would be Doreen. 3) Leroy Jones-the guy is a m-f-er. What he was doing in the Trad tent, I don't know. He played "My Blue Heaven" and other similar tunes, but he is a hard-bopper.

2. Soft-shelled crab po-boys, mufalettas (both vegetarian and turkey), key-lime pie and Crawfish Monica.

3. Mist-ers in the jazz tent (could be more powerful and in more tents).

4. Seriously rockin' hybrids of Mardi Gras Indians and brass bands, esp Jockimo's Groove featuring War Chief Juan and Eric Gordon.

5. They show off the young folk who still blow the horns. NOCA has a lot goin' for it. Jeremy Davenport brought John Bradley, a protegee who is in the 8th grade, onstage. Somewhat frightening trumpet player.

6. More-or-less enough port-a-potty's.

7. The Gospel Tent (caveat: painful decibel level)

8.  People still be playing the blues-with passion.

9. Lagniappe Stage-eclectically, even brilliantly programmed.

10. I had no ticket for Saturday; had one for Sunday, but mistakenly brought an already-used ticket. Both days, I got in. Only in New Orleans.


I will be posting audio, including an interview with Doreen Ketchens, at allaboutjazz.com, so check that out in the near future.

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