News, Commentary on Classical Music, Jazz, Theater, Dance & More

New Orleans

Rob Reddy

REVIEW: Rob Reddy, 'Bechet: Our Contemporary,' Reddy Records >>

Rob Reddy has been around since the late '80s. Sidney Bechet [1897-1959] was, many say, the first important jazz soloist (recording just months prior to Louis Armstrong). 'Bechet: Our Contemporary' (Reddy Music) is Reddy's seventh album with four tracks each by both composers. It takes Bechet's pioneering music away from the ghetto of dusty time to reposition it as the groundbreaking force it once was.

Nolatet

REVIEW: Nolatet, 'Dogs,' Royal Potato Family >>

Star musicians who gig or record in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and who have to find a local rhythm section, usually do what Dizzy Gillespie did: come up with bassist James Singleton and drummer Johnny Vidacovich, they of Professor Longhair's band. These two, as an established NOLA rhythm section, have been known as the go-to rhythmic thrust since 1977. Meanwhile, their friends-vibraphonist/percussionist Mike Dillon and pianist Brian Haas-have also been playing together for years in and out of the bands Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and Dead Kenny Gs. So why not form your own damn band? Enter 'Dogs' by Nolatet.

Herlin Riley

REVIEW: Herlin Riley, 'New Direction,' Mack Avenue Records >>

Herlin Riley stands on the shoulders of giants. He comes from a long line of New Orleans drummers who are so deeply entrenched in the pocket and in the tradition, that their swinging styles have set a standard. For Riley's Mack Avenue Records debut after drumming in the bands of no less than Wynton Marsalis and Ahmad Jamal, he's taken a 'New Direction.'

Fats Domino

Rock With Fats Domino and PBS' New Documentary >>

He came from New Orleans and had a major hand in the creation of rock 'n' roll. He would run step for step with Elvis Presley in the early stages of rock 'n' roll. Fats Domino taught the world to swing and rock. He was the king of rock 'n' roll before Elvis and was jiving way before Jerry Lee Lewis was on ever on the scene. n February 26 on PBS a part of it's celebration of Black History months, Thirteen Production's American Masters' newest documentary focuses on New Orleans born piano master Fats Domino. For rock fans, this documentary is a wonderful guide to the man and the history of an American institution.

Tyler Perry

‘The Passion’ Musical Coming to Fox Live from New Orleans >>

Hot on the heels of Fox’s ultra successful production of Grease Live comes The Passion. The musical story of Christ set in modern day New Orleans will make use of the actually city as the backdrop for the production. The Passion will be hosted by Tyler Perry and performed on Palm Sunday.

Fats Domino

Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock n Roll >>

PBS and the American Masters series are set to present a new documentary about rock and roll legend, Fats Domino. On Feburary 26 at 10 p.m., (check your local listings) the new documentary, Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll debuts. Feburary is Black History Month in the US, and the premiere on the 26th coincides with Fats Domino's 88th birthday. It figures to be a super special night for Fats Domino fans.

Keith Stone

Keith Stone Self-Releases 'The Prodigal Returns' as a Love Letter to New Orleans (REVIEW) >>

"Way down yonder in New Orleans in the land of dreamy scenes, there's a garden of Eden, you know what I mean." Henry Creamer wrote that line in 1922 and it holds up today as a fairly decent barometer of the allure that this great American city still holds. On 'The Prodigal Returns,' singer/songwriter/guitarist Keith Stone returns to his home town...and he's got Dr. John with him.

Isaiah B Brunt

REVIEW: Isaiah B Brunt, 'Just the Way That It Goes' (Self-Released) >>

Isaiah B Brunt owned a recording facility in Australia, Darling Harbor Studios, where he gave traveling musicians like Julio Iglesias and Goo Goo Dolls a rehearsal oasis. Originally from Sydney, he produced Midnight Oil and toured as part of actor Keanu Reeves' band Dog Star. But that's not where his heart lay. So he traveled to New Orleans.'Just the Way That It Goes' is the result.

The Dukes of Dixieland

REVIEW: Dukes of Dixieland, 'Live at 2015 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival' (Self-Released) >>

It was a glorious day made even more glorious by the shockingly medicinal music of Louisiana's own Dukes Of Dixieland as they plied their craft in front of us 'Live at 2015 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival' (self-released). When the set was over, we mopped our brow, drank, laughed, flirted and hobnobbed with each other to compare notes of the uplifting -- and almost religious -- experience we had just been through together. Believe me, it was positively cleansing. I know I'll never forget it. Now it's on CD, and everyone can feel the vibe. Soon, I was pushing my way backstage to properly gush.

Sullivan Fortner

REVIEW: Sullivan Fortner, New Orleans Pianist, Debuts 'Aria' on impulse! >>

New Orleans piano player Sullivan Fortner, 28, makes his major label debut, 'Aria', on one of the most legendary of jazz labels, impulse! Making his bones in Roy Hargrove's band, the spider-fingered multi-harmonic wizard of the 88s has sterling accompaniment in drummer Joe Dyson, Jr., bassist Aidan Carroll and saxophonist Tivon Pennicott. Fortner maintains he's only one-fourth of 'Aria' though, as he's always been more comfortable in a band context, not as a leader. Welcome to the big leagues, kid.

Dee Dee Bridgewater

REVIEW: Dee Dee Bridgewater, Irvin Mayfield Celebrate NoLA 'Feathers' >>

From Louis Armstrong to Jelly Roll Morton, the essence of one of the world’s great towns is boiled down to 12 beatific tracks on 'Dee Dee’s Feathers,' a collaboration between Dee Dee Bridgewater and Irvin Mayfield and his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

Smoky Greenwell's Blues Jam 'Live At The Old U.S. Mint'

REVIEW: Smoky Greenwell's NoLA Blues Lives at the U.S. Mint >>

Singer/songwriter Smoky Greenwell has been a mainstay in the blues clubs of Louisiana since the 1970s. He's since added saxophone and figured it was about damn time to record and produce a live album consisting of tracks from his nine studio CDs.

AACM Celebrates and Reflects on 50 Years of Jazz Devotion and Servitude

AACM Celebrates and Reflects on 50 Years of Jazz Devotion and Servitude >>

Steeped in the rituals of ancient Africa and early traditions rooted in New Orleans music, Chicago jazz musicians are remembering the efforts of South Side musicians 50 years ago. Celebrating five decades, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) reflects on a rich history.

Kindness

Kindness Adds New Orleans Rapper Pell to North American Tour >>

British musician Kindness has added New Orlean’s rapper Pell to his 2015 North American tour.

610 Stompers

610 Stompers Member Scott LeBlanc Surprises Bride-to-Be Daughter with Cruise Ship Dance Routine >>

New Orleans-based all-men dance group 610 Stompers member Scott LeBlanc organized a dance for his daughter's wedding.

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