[Dixielandjazz] Preservation Hall
louislince at neworleansmusic.demon.co.uk
Wed Oct 4 11:59:27 PDT 2006
Having been away on tour and just caught up with this thread I'll rise to
Bill Haesler's (bless him) challenge. Preservation Hall and it's band have
to be seen in context. What was originally a Sunday afternoon blow for
elderly musicians in New Orleans in the late '50s and early '60s at Larry
Borenstein's art gallery became galvanised into a new revival, aided and
abetted by Time-Life magazine.
Alan and Sandra Jaffe took over the project from the founders of the kitty
hall ( Barbara Reid and Ken Mills - to name but two) and turned it into a
commercial proposition. It provided a source of income for many NO
musicians - including Kid Thomas, George Lewis and Louis Nelson...to say
nothing of the Humphrey brothers, Sing Miller, Narvin Kimball, Cie Frazier
et al. In my view it started to put New Orleans and it's heritage back on
One of the most stirring memories I have is the touring band in the early
1980s appearing at Bury St. Edmunds Theatre Royal here in the UK. The
concert was filmed by BBC-2 and shown on national UK TV. I defy any of our
listmates not to be moved by Sing Miller and Narvin Kimball duetting on "His
eye is on the Sparrow" and "Memories". It's not "Sophisticated Dixieland"
(whatever that means) but simple down home roots music at its best from
which many listmates have developed their various styles of playing.. I
doubt that any of the PHJB members ever called or thought themselves genius
players...it's all from the heart. Wynton Marsalis is happy to acknowledge
his debt to the roots players.
The band has varied in quality over the years( as have any of "our" bands)
but listen to the current band and give it a fair listening. I feel
privileged to have been invited to play in the Hall with the band on several
occasions over the years, and when I am in New Orleans next month I shall
hurry on down to the hall and catch up with many old friends.
Give the guys a break...it's music!!!
Best, as ever
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