NOLA Jazz Fest 2016

23.04 Chicago to Swing country  13:00. Airborne.
Landing over swamp country. Similar taste. Last year we felt we were in a jungle where mangroves swallowed streets and motorways. And that we’d touch down in the foliage. Similar feeling now. We can taste the warm heat of NOLA.

New Orleans Jazz Festival 2016

Finally at the venue. Coada lunga la bilete. Se mai intra si la plesneala peste rand. Exotic crowd. De la tipi imbracati in mock football gear cu tutu roz si casca, la Peter Pan hatted, shorts, kids, umbrella hats, beaded hair, braids, sun burnt skins of all sorts. Ppl with babies (some as young as just 2-3 weeks!!! Unul era cat doi pumni. Il tinea mă-sa pe brat, la umbra unui chioșc inside the arena), with strollers and stuff. Girls with a crate of Breezers, coke, etc. Amerindieni tatuati. Te prinzi dupa culoare si parul impletit. Otherwise t-shirt and jeans. Un avion scrie pe cer: COEXIST si LOVE!, FORGIVE 🙂 There’s all this vibe around.

Stilul asta Nola inca de la aterizare. A massive but slow tide in people. Incat abia atunci cand dai de ritmuri congo intr-un cort si hauleli on shaky feet ajungi sa si vezi pulsatia asta consistentă de viata dincolo de masca imediata. But N.O. streets are casual sunny, with that mix of funky provincial authenticity where you know and engage with everybody, moving from lush creole villas to dinghy houses, simple, de șipci. Napadite de vegetatie sau uscate de soare.
Our cabbie Cynthia ne-a preluat cu aceeasi familiaritate. Ne vorbea, la un moment dat ne-am dat seama ca asa in ritmul ei ardelenesc o putem lasa sa-si îngâne singura gandurile. Ceea ce si facea. S-a oprit la un moment dat langa o masina cu cauciucu varza si portierele jumulite oleaca. To help, or ask or offer some verbal comfort, should I call somebody? Hold on, let me write that down darling. Si noteaza ce zicea un tip din masina in cauza.

Fair Grounds Race Track – the heart of the music these days:

First real gig – Mystikal. A hiphoppie engaging blacko premise. Nice. Stadium style crowd. Mama goes wild. I love her!!! O filmez in timp ce bea o bere si se prosteste cu o esarfa. It’s her, really her, still her! Alive! We high fived our way into this.

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Now breaking through the crowds, stopping briefly to shoot one towards mid stage. Shaking a leg, with a brief shoulder twinning a girl on the grass. There’re ice cubes under our feet. But we’re hot on it!


At a sandwich stand:

“Common yo’all, we got cuban sandwiches here!” “What’s in it? ham and cheese and what?” la fel ca mai devreme cu altcineva, la standul de bere, se opreste, eventual se gandeste, repeta ceea ce i-ai spus, apoi raspunde agale ei… ce mai, pure ardelenian style :-), “it’s haaam, and swiss cheeese”, and thaaat and thaaat and thaaat… . “Now, seriously, zic, do you really think they’ve got swiss cheese in Cuba?!” Blocaj impleticit surazator…

Moving to the Zatrain’s WWOZ (asta e un post de radio) Jazz Tent. Mai incolo un Gospel Tent si un Blues one. I le arat mamei sa stie ce poate varia cand ne vom pierde. But in the Jazz one Jack de Johnette, My legend! Ravi Coltrane (post-bebop sax man, fiul lui John!) and Matthew Garrison. Am nearly in awe here.

Pearl Jam now. Stadium like, again. Standing on the grass. A bit lost with it. Mama, pe un fragment mai slow.. is this blues?, ii spusesem cam ce-i cu ei. Dar nu ce canta. Well, rock!

Panoramez. Roudy mix, eclectic ages, but no nutters gone berserk yet. Printre randuri il vad pe the nord coreean – Kim Jong-un. Calare pe un inorog scuipand flacari si besind curcubee. Zuuupeeer… trag discret niste butoane spre el, in timp ce out of the blue a late 30s blonde jumps around leaning on my shoulder singing extatic into my face.

 

Van Morrison now. My how he aged!
Relaxing, sunny. Nu ma da peste cap, dar senzatia clipei e faina. All ends around 19:00.

Post, intram undeva peste strada de Fairgrounds unde dam de o gramada de oameni in jurul unui bar de pe colt. PO BOYZ with Simon Lott – a crazy funky charismatic la baterie. Buze albastre, machiat glossy, super cret, shirtless ars de sore si foarte catchy! A cool dark glassed
long haired johnlong la bass, a philipino la sax si un american la clape. A crowded line of girls queuing to the loo sidelong the stage were their instant fans. Buncha guys all ages as well, as the Po Boyz had a rhythmic fascination with cool breaks and treadalongs. Ma’ tired in a corner. Se amuza de tot tămbălăul.

Pe strazi apoi. Genul de case de sipci cu veranda, negrese certandu-se cu nesaț, familii la ceas de seara, negrii, albi, some fanscier interiors, some more basic, fermentand o sa oare de țară cu o placere a vieții. Oras de golf, inrudind marginalitatea cu placerea vietii in strda, cu muzica si vecini copioși. Printre lespezi mutate din loc sau ridicate chiar si cate un metru de radacinile copacilor oamenii traiesc, cântă. Dam de un gard simplu si niste acorduri folk. O femeie -Kristy Magner – si-a pus casa la bataie pentru un LaSharpe Fest 2016 (adica festivalul de pe strada Sharpe). Acum, de ziua lui Sfântu. Doar o zi – azi. Vorbesc cu gazda. Sunt oameni cu copii, 30s-40s kinda ppl intinsi pe perne sau pe iarba. Post hippies. Mancare la nimereala, bautura. Free. Ma lamureste – dă si ea o petrecere sa prelungeasca frumusetea festivalului de jazz well into the night. Acu canta doi baieti, asa ad-hoc, David Barksdale si un australian: Paris is burning! Paris is burning!, I got a riksaw i can pedal when the world stops turning!”
Mama a bit morose. Dar o asez pe niste trepte. Si se impaca pentru ca e fain, e chiar foarte fain! “There’s still lots of food if you guys wanna partake!” ne invita.
Yanti Turang. Apoi niste brazilieni – “Samba de Bemba” cu a lot of Samba, dar mostly a mellow tale. O dam in dans la un moment dat cand Annie – o blonda la 35 de prin preajma care stia cate ceva ne invata niste miscari. Stam de vorba pe urma, da astia sunt oamenii – vecini sau prieteni cu familiile most of them, inclusiv interpretii. Desi Kristy ar vrea sa devina o treaba mai deschisa.


Misto seara. Din alea d’ale catalinei, but with less gloss. Sau poate tocmai de aia e dintr-ale ei..(?).

Street flavours

Long walk back to French Quarter. Very gratifying though as more and more luxuriant creole houses and blasting vegetation that seems to take over abund our way. “Mai prafuit”, (dezordonat placut as zice eu), “orasul asta si mai kurdar decat Chicago. Nu nici macar ca Bucurestiul, poate mai asa ca Bacaul” desi pentru mine e un amestec foarte placut de exotic si colonial. Trecem pe langa niste cercevele cu transparenta mistica. Dinauntru de la lumini de veioze se vad statuete mici de gargui inaripati, sau decoratii semi totemice, tablouri apoi, mobila veche. Ii arat si ei. Zici ca suntem undeva intr-o scena din “Angel Heart” cu Mickey Rourke. (well that one was mostly N.O. based vad acu.. obviously!).
The Fairgrounds Jazz tracks (horse tracks yes I know) îmbibate de un miros înfundat de caine plouat. Cal mai degraba. Peste care croiau din plin cele de mancare sau alte prajeli, adieri de primavara si devălmășag odoric de concert stadium.
Acum insa strazile te asaltau cu miros vegetal, copaci cu arome ascunse. Arbori imensi cu radacini si ramuri uriase extinse peste tot. maiestuos cu aroma de jasmine, de chiparoase, de flori de tei in plina explozie macerat de multa ploaie de vară. GARDENII! My world!, cat am cautat sa aflu ce floare e asta. Cea care mi-a inundat narile in cateva ocazii memorabile sau oameni speciali in America de Sud sau prin sudul Europei, in Asia (?). Fantastic feeling. Imi tremura mainile de placere cand scriu.

Ne-am rupt in somn profund abia urnit sub asternuturi la miezu noptii. Noaptea inca urla a jazz si petrecere. We’re just 1 block away from Bourbon Street. Au un bar fix in tranzit cu lobbyul hotelului. Ma ardea sa mai stau, dar am adormit incercand sa scriu, sa citesc ceva. Vorbind.

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