[Dixielandjazz] New Orleans Music

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 25 08:57:58 PST 2007

What is "New Orleans Music" these days? Below is a description of a new
release of New Orleans Music. "City of Dreams" from Rounder Records, a 4 CD
set is divided into four separate themes: Disc One: Big Easy Blues, Disc
Two: Street Beat, Disc Three: Funky New Orleans, and Disc Four: Ivory

Unfortunately, it contains none of the "jazz" that most of us associate with
New Orleans, unless we consider Just A Little While To Stay Here" by the
Rebirth Brass Band as being in that genre.

For a tune/performer list, check Amazon.

Steve Barbone

A Collection of New Orleans Music - Rounder Records - Released this month.

Before Hurricane Katrina, a lot of New Orleans music was cozily insular and
suffused in local lore, mingling tradition and nostalgia. The New Orleans
aficionados at Rounder Records have recorded more than 100 albums there
since the early 1980s, with musicians who were already elders ‹ including
the pianists Professor Longhair and James Booker and the singers Irma Thomas
(above) and Johnny Adams ‹ and younger ones carrying on traditions like
brass-band music and Mardi Gras Indian songs.

³City of Dreams² includes a few vintage R&B singles. But it¹s mostly a
survey of what visitors could hear in recent decades in clubs, at Mardi Gras
or at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The label recorded working
musicians steeped in the city¹s rolling, chattering second-line rhythms and
its casual, intuitive notion of ensemble unity.

This is by no means a definitive New Orleans collection; it¹s strong on
pianists (with one CD of solos) and older R&B singers, adequate on brass
bands, stretched thin on funk. But in its informal way ³City of Dreams²
picks up the spirit of a unique local scene that took its continuity for
granted. Two years after the levees failed, with the city still depopulated,
that continuity is in question. (Rounder Records. Four CDs. $32.98.) JON

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