Thursday, March 02, 2006

Gideon's Penguins and Owls Pre-Mardi-Gras All-New-Orleans Music Mix
January 06

1) New Orleans Music – Rebirth Brass Band
Right next to my favorite New Orleans restaurant, Jacques’Imo’s, which reopened after Katrina on December 29, is the Maple Leaf, where the Rebirth Brass Band has held court on Tuesday nights for years. I’m happy to report they are back at the Maple Leaf Tuesdays starting in January ’06.
2) The Spanish Tinge – Jelly Roll Morton
Have to have Jelly Roll on any New Orleans album – he carried around a business card – “Jelly Roll Morton – Inventor of Jazz.” These recordings were made by Alan Lomax at the Library of Congress in 1938. Lomax found Jelly Roll down and out, playing in DC in a down and out gin joint, asked him to come to the grand piano in the Coolidge Auditorium at the LOC and lay out the whole story of jazz from top to bottom. All of these recordings have recently been re-released by Rounder Records.
3) Tipitina – Professor Longhair
The song for which the New Orleans club gets its name. I saw a show here on Christmas Day 2005. This is a phenomenal howling solo performance by Professor Longhair (1918-1980), in London.
4) Tou’ Les Jour C’est Pas La Meme- Carol Fran
This is from a fantastic Katrina benefit album from Nonesuch Records – Our New Orleans 2005 – The quality of music from Nonesuch is always nonpareil – they haven’t disappointed here with all songs recorded after August 29, 2005 by New Orleans artists. I heartily recommend getting this album – proceeds will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.
5) Wade: Hurricane Suite – IV – Dr. John
Another excellent Katrina benefit album from New Orleans piano genius Dr. John, where he takes the classic spiritual Wade in the Water to new places. From Dr. John and the lower 911 – Sippiana Hurricane. This was recorded at the historic Bearsville studio in Woodstock New York.
6) I Ain’t Gonna Tell Nobody - King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band
I spoke with Tom Piazza recently, author of the excellent book “Why New Orleans Matters”and he had this to say about the recording quality of this song: “The sound meets you halfway, and you kind of have to reach back to it a little bit. You have to kind of work a little bit to hear everything that’s going on. In that way you are kind of participating in the music yourself”
7) B’s Paris Blues – Branford Marsalis
This Katrina benefit CD is from Rounder Records and Marsalis Music – all proceeds will be donated to MusiCares Hurricane Relief 2005. There is excellent material on here – if you like this, I recommend picking up the whole album.
8) New Orleans Zulu King (at Mardi Gras) – poem by Josephine Copeland
Some poetry to set up the vision of New Orleans at Mardi Gras time.
9) Indian Red – Wild Tchoupitoulas
A ritual song sung by the Mardi Gras Indians. This song is sung at the passing of an Indian, one of the men in the social clubs that march in fully festooned regalia at Mardi Gras time. This song is also sung at the beginning of many Indian rehearsals, which happen Sunday nights throughout the year.
10) Brother John/Iko Iko – Neville Brothers
This is an R&B version of a Mardi Indian song – Iko, Iko – which is usually performed with voices, tambourine and whatever beat-making percussion is near at hand.
11) L’ouragon – BeauSoleil
Tremendous fiddling from the veteran Cajun band BeauSoleil.
12) La Danse De Mardi Gras – The Balfa Brothers
Dewey Balfa and the Balfa Brothers give us a little bit of Cajun Mardi Gras sounds like.
13) Boozoo’s Breakdown – New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars
Klezmer zydeco – who’d’ve thunk it – the minor key masters do their take on the romping style of this Boozoo Chavis tune.
14) Sad Song – Davell Crawford
One of my favorite New Orleans performers – saw him at Tipitina’s on Christmas – I’ve seen him play live twice, and both times, I have been riveted the whole time, watching his every move. This guy has immense piano chops, a beautiful voice and a gripping performance style.
15) Bye Baby Bye, Bye – Fats Domino
I’ve heard about Fats Domino’s legendary barrelhouse piano performances, where he would play the piano so hard it would slide around the stage. This is a cleaned up poppy number that gives a hint of that rocking live performance style.
16) I Will Survive – Marva Wright
Christmas night this year, I went to see Marva Wright’s Christmas Revue – she does it every year at Tipitina’s – she ripped the roof of the place with this version of “I Will Survive”- with the post-Katrina resonance, the song really hit home – making you want to laugh and cry at the same time. This recording doesn’t quite do it justice, but it gives an idea of what Marva is capable of.
17) Yes We Can Can – Allen Toussaint
I love the back up singers on this song – this is also from the Nonesuch Record – “Our New Orleans 2005”
18) What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
What more can you say than Pops. It seems he had the biggest heart in music ever. When Alan Lomax was asked to program the music for the disk that went on the Voyager space probe that would represent life on earth, he made sure there was a Louis Armstrong cut on there.


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