Thursday 28th Apr New Orleans – Jazz Fest
(Our last fest day and nights)
Heavy clouds. Train aruns. Scattering the night threads off. The dark shades.
But brightening up for the day.
We’ gonna shelter in the Gospel Tent first.
Eleanor McMain “Singing Mustangs”.
A 25-30 odd choir of black teenagers. Only one of them dancing in front. Jazz-ballet dance moves. A girl solo singing from the side. A lot of heart and sincerity from these guys.
Haleluja Jesus. O can be free. Sounds and feels real. Lots of funny talk gestures organized on voices alternating in poses and pose-dialogue. Shoulders and hands, leaning forward or sideways, to each other, away from each other. Sequentially on four voices or altogether. Very engaging and heart boosting. All lead by a fat-dominos, all smiles and solid energy. They’re very well connected to him. The dynamics of joy. The “Zecchino D’Oro”s of Jazz Fest. Gata. 🙂
Intermezzo. Ploua de rupe. Rafale.
Next up in Gospel – The Jones Sisters
Patru pustoaice, again intre 16-20 ani. True glory.
Well there’s a lot more colour about Gospel when you experience it than when you frame it into stereotypes. Entertaining, spirit catching. Imagine something you’re open to: Wide breathing Xmas songs on a Summer sunny day. That sense of community and right flow. You are with your friends, all become your friends, with singing honesty.
The girls sing about the Lord with the classic verbalisation of spirit you’d expect. But they do it while sliding into Bobby McFerrin variations. Some ppl stand up and waggle from side to side. Hips, neck, knees, hands and all. It is as much about dance as it is about music.
But I’m gonna transfer over to Jazz. Dropped mum at the blues tent and ran across to
Ok so far. Sorted out some emails. En.
Marlon Jordan (with Chris Severin – overstaying his slot into Marlon’s – and others) plays the music of Miles, Trane, Bird
Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker.
Iar toarna. O senzatie aparte. Cascade de apa outside. Tablouri de apa deversand abundent peste cadre incetosate. Tunete, de zici ca e vreun “percussion effect” mai aparte… si noi – cateva mii pe scaune. Randul cinci, central. Pay us a visit. The trumpet and piano flowers, bass and drums floating over this consistent sound effect weather drolling surround us. Thundercracking into trumpet crescendos. Oamenii tresar electrizati, highdrenaling along with the performers.
Chancing it out after. Out in the open. Patches of clear sun with smells of sea. Marshy trailing onto the Jazz and Heritage stage. There’s a band with quite an appealing name performing there: Bill Summers and Jazalsa :
And sounds like it says it does! Jazz aplenty with latin taste! But well based in the jaaaayzzz frame. Wateermelon man! Hahaha, gets us into playing a “bottle” sound effect. Cha cha on an abundance of sax. Congas and the rest of flavours! Trumpet skylarking the stage. A blastafunkamazing!
veers into santana rhythms and modernity.
Just finished my Blue Moon. One guy offers me some pot. All to haze blaze the sensorials! I pass. Thrilled enough as I am. Are they gonna put on some Quincy now? Jones’it up pleaaaz!
Another tune: “Killer Joe”
Adele’s “Hello” sang by a 15y old Mississippi west bank kid. Black talent.
Oye como va! Uuuuhaaaa!
Beaming over to Lagniappe Arena
A celo virtuoso with all sort of original looping skills. Solo act.
Wow! Ppl in vibrant awe:
this day’s splashes of energy. What mud?, where swamp?, who ssscares? storming vesel about
O dă pe franceză, belgiancă. Normallement! “moi qui l’aimee tant!”
Abia ma abtin sa nu o inregistrez over and over and oooooooh! again.
3CDs wity her – stocking up for our later west coast ride:
Brandi Carlile at Gentilly stage.
Folk n blues, country. Musical and dynamic. Young. 27. Seamana cu Leo di Caprio. With a funky band.
“You gotta keep your heart young, don’t go crawling home before your time has come.” – tacky? I told ya it was country. Feel good!
Trece pe rock and roll.
Briefly on to Lagniappe for
Lynn Drury – rock and roll. Slow and melodic. guesting Paul Sanchez.
Blues taint-ed again.
Black Maria sang with Corey Harris Band.
A negro Fender, sax, bass and the usual kit.
70(?) old rasta hair dark-grey bearded. Marley sway sometimes, black smokey tones some other times. A sweaty, southern swing to it.
Snarky Puppy now
Curly lovingly leaning onto Grace with purple-white sparrows plucking at her shadow.
………..Baby is born
……………… in him.
……He is nursed
..By a stone breast
………..statue of a
Saint built for the
I look these lines up and the first link I find is FScott’s:
I should read this instead of just wording average vagrancies, with the ocasional uplift. Accelerate the heart rate of current middle-ground explosions and move onto a thinner layer. More transpar-understanding.
(But it turns out I came across the link above by mistake. Quite a treasure, but still. The Hull House has a rich history and many stories, and the Devil Baby story has a complex encrust into those times of Chicago. A ghost like treasure in itself.
Some proper background here:
These guys are the PatMethenies of a new generation! Listen them out if you don’t believe me.
Words are not enough here.
“Shokufan” someone’s telling me. Saw me shazaming it. Will look it up. Defo!
A discharge of enthusiasm and energy I haven’t felt since the Jaga Jazzist concert a few years back. THAT sort!
Jumping grounds to Tedeschi Trucks Band with Jimmie Vaughan si Billy F Gibbons
for a closing “With a Little Help from My Friends”
I had a few shouts and dose of adrenaline left after Shokufan-ing with the Puppies. So let some of it out here. with Tedeschi.
Then ran to get mum from Elvis Costello and the Imposters. Last 2-3′ of the performance. Van Morrison style she says.
Walking out arm in arm. Our last night here. Don’t want it to end. So we lose track on the campus, fumbling around for an exit in the opposite direction(s). Mum knows me – I need to stay with it a bit more. Play with the street substance, the fluid after-hours. Plus she’s trying not to get into that pre-departure anxiety. We’ve got a flight at 6:00 AM. So there’s a plan: to both wake u at 4:00 AM, hit the door at 4:30 and the Louis Armstrong airport at 5:00 AM. What’s it to drop bags and check in? a domestic flight! So I get her an Uber back home – “Just don’t stay too late! when do you think you’ll get back? you know when the flight is.” “Don’t worry! I got it, all under control”. She doesn’t over do it.
So I roam the usual after parties. At Chad’s 1617 Sauvage Street. (Btw, if you google map it you’ll always find someone in the door or so.. it’s an innocuous venue, but the truck in front has seen a lot hoochie shaking in her life.. c-rowdy, musical, pan-sensual bacchanalias, etc.
Some jelly wine, some dressed up fluids, who knows what they put in my drink… same vibe with people dancing frenetically. I unleash, but somehow don’t get in full gear yet. An asian girl from a next door town, provincial. Vivianne. Passing by cross cultures. Spoke about this here. Then some glance shakes with another girl, regardless of boyfriend. But never mind, the hour held a lot more exploration to me. Just as I was about to move on.. some guys (and girls) in a grasp for joy huddling a large oxygen tube to fill up balloons. Laughing gas?.. light-heading the connoisseurs.
Onto a couple of streets further out, next to a pub in the middle of a crowd at a crossing. Here was more talk, some crazy shouters, a bike parked in the middle of the road, with a cart of music boxes. We lean into the music again. An I scatter through the faces again.
Stuck onto the window the groovy look of James Booker. A snatch from the documentary Bayou Maharajah I would get to see 3 months later with S. in London. It is that look and the prodigy child aura (or maybe prodigal is a better tag) that I remembered from the Festival memorabilia and the Snug Harbour piano concert that built this need to see and know more about him. And now, with his crooked patched eye he was staring … at what?:
Another push cart, a kinder one parked just in front of Booker’s eye… a guy selling cookies. What’s that? Such and such. How much? Ten, ten and ten. BUT!, I gotta little something here, another one that’s like all three of these combined. Oh, ok… and? 25 bucks. I must have looked more fringy and dishevelled than others, cause 5 minutes later he sells it snappy to a couple of cleaner americans for $35. Just like that, without a flinch, in front of me. Supply and demand. Whereas I was a loose rookie. Crumbled smalls pieces of it, slowly, over two hours. But to no effect. Bamboozled? Ok, never mind.
Hung onto a couple more streets. Drifting from terrace parties, onto empty porches watching people inside embroiled into the same kind of rolling partying. Some guitars, some percussion here and there, some coloured swearing. The concrete melt with imagination shape forming tree roots that connected us all. Vibrants in the wind. Flavoured expressionism.
Got high on lillies! Gardenias and jasmine. Then a big tree bonanza with huge flowers I almost had sex with. So enticed that I barely stopped the urge. The incense, the allure, the art of impulse! Kept smelling way at it. And whoaaaa! Unbelievable! This must be the cookie effect kicking in 2.5 hours later…(?!). (Nope, my mum and friends cleared that for me when I explained a month after:) It was my sex toy flower joy that did the trick. Not overwhelming, but from too much face diving into those white cups I was lucky I only wavered a bit and not collapsed there. You can hardly tell which’s which on these streets full of jasmine and tuberose flavoured such and such. Dos Gardenias para Ti!
Intersectia La Harpe cu N Dorgenois
Cum pot oamenii sa traiasca cu copacii astia?!!! ce încolăcire de ramuri! E unul la care daca nu stii unde e tulpina principala si il vezi din alt punct esti DUS!
Kerlerec with N Prieur crossing.
Just the names. Kerouac with Lapage .
God only knows!
A little further. After drawing a long line with my twig of gardenias into the side lawn by the road. I pass a house.
Wait, there’s something about it.
I turn back to watch again.
Asta parcheaza aici.. intra asa.., si in spate? casa vecinului. Mai gri si mai hârșâită decat aia gri de vizavi care mai ar arăta oleaca spălată, mai nouă. Dar hodorogita asta? ce e cu ea?, nearly haunted. Ce mogosoaia are pe ea?
Took me a minute or two to figure out how come the wall showed obvious shadows and deep vegetation tracks when there was nada between the streetlight across and the wall itself!
Well… it must have been growing on it and it’s been removed. Now it was like a huge indian face tattooed with vines and palm trees all over his eyes. Shadowttoos!
I handbrush a car, a Volks, no shine, so cool! Watch out boys!, there’s a new mat in town – the New Orleans finish! The abouttogorustymust! (prespălat like the jeans) What you don’t wanna start, the rain will definitely finish!!! hahahahhahahaha!
I’ve seen that more than once. Cool vintage or just present day cars, so overrun with rain that the polish is gone. So gone it looks unbelievably cool. Much better than that hideous mat paint fashioned out of gangsta egos these mid Twenteens ages (2013s-2016s).
Doua tresariri de inima. On a bit more deserted/broken pattern street. The house across I was just passing..a yawn from somewhere (inside?) ca un strigat sau vaiet infundat de femeie, sau copil. I slow down, wthack! cand deodata la vreo patru metri simt ceva miscand. Abia am timp sa-mi scutur de doua ori o coada de ochi intr-acolo ca deodata sarim un metru in aer si eu si cele doua pisici care se cooiau una la alta de imi dadeau mie emotii aiurea 🙂
A doua oara ma oprisem sa scriu – taman in mogosoaia – fantastabula asta cand gata sa dea un biciclist peste mine. Eram in mijlocul intersectiei. Ocolis de ultim moment si zdrang da ăsta cu roata intr-o groapa pe muchia crestei intersectiei! Iar ne sar ovraiele din suflet si mie si astuia!
Dupa indelungi balansuri din astea extatice tropaind cu degetele prin telefon sa mai notez una alta ajung si pe Frenchman Street. Where I snug into the tight pack from the Spotted Cat. It’s just 22:30-23:00. I brandy, or.. cocktail, or I don’t remember what wedged between hardly waiting people for the gig that is fast warming us up. The Jumbo Shrimp Jazz Band. This is where everything comes loose. I hop initially, then wiggle, contort, bend over, bend others, shout, mime, play act, EVERYTHING! And they keep on going. These guys were amazing! The whole house rocked with us, some magic Sax players, or trombone, or.. what am I saying, a rat-pack of talents brought together by chance and need. A 4-5 hours with several small 15 minutes gaps that hyped the adrenaline and complexity of it beyond relief! IN the breaks had so much energy I the space couldn’t contain me anymore. So as not to break someone’s back or dislodge a jaw from enthusiasm I was either catching conversations up with jazz strangers, or shooting out on the street where, at a street corner just a block down.. MIRACLE! the New Thousand trio of smashing students was smashing it! Wrote briefly but to the point about them here at the end of the post. Me, all over the walls, I outstage some hip hop jazz coloured guys. But no bad eye, they gleam wide smiling and clap along. The phone cameras at some point turn from the soloist to me. And he swivels around raining his music-orality towards me. Bounced back to this crossroad a couple of times. Theirs was a shorter gig. We gang-fives each other at the end. (you know, not just high-fives, that’s for pussies. This was a monstrous of a slap, with bending shoulders and strong packing) “Man! I I find you here doing the same sht next year, and you don’t get mainstream! I’ll vanish you!”.
But the beat goes on and it’s not till 3:00 AM that I reluctantly part away with the Shrimps. Stopping over in another piano bar, or hooked up by familiar faces from which bar/venue? before – a couple of girls ask me if I know where they can find some balloons. aHA! I guess they meant that type! Well.. blowing… in the wind! 🙂
It’s 3:45 AM by the time I reach home. Was glad my phone had bled out. But not sure how mum handled that. No contact for … 7-8 hours… as the clock was getting critical. Hmm.. I storm in as I feel she’s awake.. Well in fact hasn;t really slept. Because .. because. Well, we’re ok mum. Butt I gotta sleep 30’. Not more nor less. She closes all lights. Sits silently writing something at the flicker of the moon I guess. Her variant of the story I guess. And I struggle to doze off. But as usual wake up as if after an intense sleep 30’ later. She’s dragging me out. Cool. No Uber. Imagine that! first (and only time) in USA i can’t find an Uber in time. So we just black cab it to the airport. Getting there at 5:05. Scramble our way through the queue into the automatic check-ins. Manage to drop the luggage by a miracle and run to the security control. Ups! Huge queue here. Barely moving. 35’. We’re some of the last 3-4 that manage to board. Phew! be…
Y’all have a great time! Till next time around! 🙂