Tribute to Sidney Bechet at Preservation Hall

Friday- November 26, 2010- this evening the saxophonist Aurora Nealand will be leading the band in paying tribute to one of the three most important jazzmen to emerge from New Orleans.  Though Bechet (pictured) spent the better part of his life living in Paris, he was born here in 1897.  Joining Nealand will be Tom McDermott on piano, Charlie Halloran on trombone, Dave Boswell on trumpet, Matt Bell on guitar, Audrey Freeman on bass and Mike Voelker on drums.

Davis and His Big Band at the Maple Leaf

Wednesday- November 24, 2010- this evening, Davis Rogan will be celebrating the release of his new CD at the uptown bar with a band that features Efram Towns (pictured) of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band on trumpet and Craig Klein of Bonerama on trombone.  The first 100 paying guests will receive a CD single, which includes Rogan’s new smash hit, “The New Ninth Ward.”

Albert “Gentleman June” Gardner Passes

The versatile New Orleans drummer and bandleader died on November 19, 2010.  He was born in 1930 and like so many of the post World War II generation of players, Gardner was comfortable in virtually any style of music.  In his later years, he was best known for leading a crack traditional jazz band that always opened the Economy Hall tent at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

However his career began much earlier.  He first burst on the scene in one of the seminal New Orleans R&B bands, the guitarist Edgar Blanchard’s Gondoliers.  In the mid-1960s, he played behind the legendary soul vocalist Sam Cooke and appeared on two of his live recordings.  He was also the drummer on the New Orleans classic, “Working In The Coal Mine,” which was recorded by Lee Dorsey and composed and produced by Allen Toussaint.

In 1966, Gardner recorded an album called Bustin’ Out, which appeared on Mercury Records.  It featured arrangements by “the Creole Beethoven” Wardell Quezergue.  The song selections attest to the leader’s musical flexibility.  The album included the bop standard, “One Mint Julep” and the rock hit, “Hang On Sloopy.”  Another cut from the record, “It’s Gonna Rain” appeared on CD in 2000 on the collection , New Orleans Funk, which was released on the obscure Soul Jazz label.


Preservation Hall Releases 78-RPM Record of Tom Waits

The venerable New Orleans institution has pushed some buttons lately with decisions that reek of progress.  Not necessarily a bad thing, unless you are a moldy fig.  Their latest release flies in the face of modernity confounding the naysayers.  78-rpm records are the holy grail for collectors.  This past Friday, the Hall released a limited number of the archaic format featuring the gritty-voiced, eclectic performer Tom Waits.  Since not a lot of people have record players that can even play a 78, they are also offering a deal where you get a 78 player. A custom-designed Preservation Hall 78 player will accompany the first 100 discs. The profits are being funneled into the Hall’s musical educational efforts, so for a donation of $200 you get the player and a copy of the record.  For $50 you get the record alone.

James Singleton Quartet at Snug Harbor

Sunday- November, 21, 2010- This evening, the peripatetic bassist performs with yet another configuration of stellar musicians.  He will be appearing on Frenchmen Street, with shows at 8 and 10 PM, with the pianist Larry Siebirth, the multi instrumentalist Mike Dillon on trap drums, vibes, tabla, and special effects, and teh saxophonist Tim Green .  According to Singleton, “These Sundays have been pretty smokin’ lately.”

Fiesta Latina at the U.S. Mint


Saturday- November 13, 2010- This afternoon, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation is sponsoring the fourth annual festival, which celebrates the myriad connections between Latin America and New Orleans.  Here’s the full schedule-


11:15 am to 12:15 pm Café Con Leche

12:30 pm to 1:30 pm Ovi-G & the Froggies

1:45 pm to 2:45 pm Garifuna Connection with Patrice Fisher

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Fredy Omar

4:15 pm to 5:15 pm La Moda

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm Rumba Buena


11:45 am to 12:45 pm Moyuba

1:15 pm to 2:00 pm Ballet Folklorico Nicaraguense COSMAPA

2:45 pm to 3:45 pm Ven Pa’ Ca Flamenco Ensemble

4:15 pm to 5:15 pm Mariachi Los Emperadores

5:45 pm to 6:15 pm Casa Samba

Dresden Dolls at Tipitina’s

Friday- November 12, 2010- This evening, the on-again, off-again cabaret punk duo makes an appearance at the uptown club. They formed in Boston in 2000 and quickly garnered a following, which was greatly enhanced when they opened a tour for Nine Inch Nails.  Jason Webly and Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship? are the opening acts.

Noir Fest Kicks Off Tonight

Thursday- November 11, 2010- the highly acclaimed indie rock festival begins its fourth iteration this evening at the Saturn Bar with performances by Jean Eric and Royal Teeth.  Tomorrow night, the festival moves to the Blue Nile on Frenchmen Street.  The upstairs room will feature Sun Hotel, Vox & the Hound, and Smiley With A Knife.  Saturday night, they move to One Eyed Jacks in the French Quarter with sets by Empress Hotel, King Rey, and Big History.  Weekend passes are available for 11 dollars.  That sure beats playing 7 dollars at the door of each venue.

Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars at AllWays lounge

Tuesday- November 9, 2010- this evening one of the major figures in the Klezmer revival that began in the early 1980’s will be performing in the Bywater. London is a trumpeter and principle member of the Klezmatics.  He has performed with a huge variety of musicians from indie rock legends They Might Be Giants and the New Wave pioneer David Byrne to the hip hop star LL Cool J and the Brazilian songstress Gal Costa.  He is featured on over 100 CDs.  New Orleans’ own Panorama Jazz Band opens the show at 9 PM.

Os Mutantes at One-Eyed Jack’s

Monday- November 8, 2010- Just over a year ago, the legendary Brazilian band performed an amazing show at Tipitina’s.  Tonight, they are back in New Orleans, but for some reason they are the opening act for a band called, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti.  I suspect it’s because he went to Beverly Hills High School and is a friend of Rio Hackford, the owner of One-Eyed Jack’s.