I started off at The Brecht Forum for a discussion of a new book about New Orleans. Ned Sublette is a musician and historian. He previous wrote a book about the history of Cuban music. The NOLA book is about the history in the 1st 100 years of NOLA, which they say no one has done yet.
It was interesting. They didn’t start until around 8:15, and I had to be at Jazz Standard at 9:30, so I only got 45 min. of the talk and Q&A. He says that NOLA is the northernmost point with Saints and Festivals. The northernmost place where everything stops for carnival. It’s kind of more of a kin to Cuba and Haiti than the US. Cuba and Haiti had a huge influence on the music of NOLA. He talked a lot about the slaves, and how they mainly got them from VA, so they were already speaking English. Someone asked how Mardi Gras Indians came to be, and he gave a very long but vague answer. It seems there is so much depth to this subject of the early history of NOLA that there’s too much to say about everything. It was kind of hard to listen after a while, given the very lengthy responses and I was focused on getting to the show on time. Still, I might read this book some day. Here’s some links to some reviews.
Thursday, May 08
BOOK PARTY / FORUM
The World That Made New Orleans
From Spanish Silver to Congo Square
On to a fantastic set of lively jazz at Jazz Standard. I mean, you can’t go wrong when either Ehrlich or Friedlander is in the band. The other 2 were awesome as well. The Rites Quartet is about the music of Julius Hemphill. I hadn’t heard of him, so I put a few links that I hope to get to read at some point. It looks like someone I should know about from the skimming I did.
It started with an awesome blues tune that had me grinning. It made me happy. It was very lively and soulful and while it made me really happy, it was definitely a blues tune. Everything they played was absolutely fantastic and it was a very enjoyable hour. Whatever Friedlander was doing on the last tune was really grabbing me. We even got a cymbal solo sometime in the middle – how often do you see that! The drum solo later was incredible. I am so glad I made it to this last set and I really hope to get to the sextet sometime this weekend.
Marty Ehrlich’s Rites Quartet
Marty Ehrlich – saxophones, clarinet, flute
Erik Friedlander – cello
James Zollar – trumpet
Pheeroan akLaff – drums