[Dixielandjazz] Marsalis Family - there are other "First Families" of New Orleans music

David Richoux tubaman at batnet.com
Wed Mar 5 10:35:06 PST 2003

On Wednesday, March 5, 2003, at 07:09  AM, Stephen Barbone wrote:

>   NEWARK, NJ March 1 =97 It's true: the Marsalises have been =
> to the ends of the earth.

This was in the San Jose CA  Mercury News today - while not what most=20
listers would consider to be OKOM, there are many strong family links=20
to the earlier days of New Orleans jazz (and other forms of popular=20
music in that city...)

Dave Richoux

A jam(balaya) session of New Orleans' finest

Yoshi Kato
Special to the Mercury News
Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Some of New Orleans' finest musicians serve up a musical gumbo tonight=20=

and Thursday at Slim's in San Francisco.

The historic shows mix families, traditions and generations in a style=20=

typical of the Crescent City but happening for the first time in the=20
City by the Bay.

``It's definitely a New Orleans thing that has since reached a wide=20
range of musical communities. It's done a lot now,'' Ivan Neville says.=20=

``But it's kind of special that we've brought the families -- the=20
Galactic family, the Neville family and . . . the Meters family. So=20
it's kind of a full-circle thing.''

The core of both shows is a band with the law-firm name of=20
Moore-Neville-House, which is making its debut at these shows. The=20
group features drummer Stanton Moore and vocalist Theryl ``Houseman''=20
deClouet of Galactic and cousins Ivan Neville, who has played with=20
Keith Richards, Bonnie Raitt and the Neville Brothers; and Ian Neville,=20=

who has played with the Neville Brothers and the Funky Meters.

Tonight only: Their uncle, Cyril Neville (Neville Brothers, the=20
Meters), presents the latest version of his Uptown Allstars in its=20
non-New Orleans debut. Truly a family affair, the octet features his=20
wife, Gaynielle, and son Omari on vocals and nephew Norman Caesar on=20

Thursday only: The Uptown Allstars leave town, but George Porter Jr.=20
joins Moore-Neville-House. He was the bassist for the Meters -- the=20
seminal New Orleans band that continues to influence rock and dance=20
music. ``Hearing our music come round again, there is absolutely a=20
great deal of joy in hearing young people appreciating it and taking it=20=

to another point in time,'' Porter says.

Also playing both nights is Tony Hall, an original Uptown Allstar who=20
has toured with Emmylou Harris, Harry Connick Jr. and Jewel. Hall will=20=

play bass tonight and switch to guitar on Thursday.

``At some point in the night, everyone is going to end up on stage=20
together,'' Cyril Neville says. ``You're going to have both sets of the=20=

Uptown Allstars on stage -- something that hasn't even happened in New=20=


The celebrations don't just extend to New Orleans family. Some players=20=

billed as ``surprise special guests'' plan to drop in and continue the=20=

legacy of extended musical families.

``We'll see if we can integrate them with the funk,'' deClouet says.

The idea of both family and intergenerational playing is a New Orleans=20=

tradition that extends back to the second-line brass bands. A mixing of=20=

ages, influences and styles invariably leads to the musical equivalent=20=

of the city's famed gumbo.

``I call it New Orleans University,'' deClouet says. ``You get all=20
these different genres and lessons in Dixieland, lessons in jazz,=20
lessons in standards, lessons in R&B, blues, funk -- you get it all=20

``And that's how you do. You just play with everybody. You try and play=20=

with as many people as possible and then get all those forms and try to=20=

mold it into your own little thing.''

The next gig for the Moore-Neville-House band will be its hometown=20
debut -- at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in the spring.

San Francisco is an appropriate setting for these shows.

``There's definitely some kind of kindred thing going on between New=20
Orleans and San Francisco. Always has been,'' Ivan Neville says.

Cyril Neville agrees. ``We're all looking forward to this happening,=20
and it couldn't happen in a better setting than San Francisco.''

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