Thursday, June 18, 2009

In review--Jazzing it up!

New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
Book One
World Village

New Orleans,also known as the Crescent City has a long tradition of jazz and other genres of music. In fact the city's music scene could be called a multicultural spiced stew. While the wake of Hurricane Katrina which hit ground in New Orleans in 2005 curtailed the club scene and the lives of thousands of people, including musicians, these same determined and tenacious musicians helped the New Orleans residents to bounce back.

Musicians have been at the heart of the rebuilding effort through giving benefit concerts, producing fund and awareness raising albums, as well as, Terence Blanchard's Requiem for Hurricane Katrina (A Tale of God's Will). The music coming out of the Crescent City simmers on the front burner and Irvin Mayfield, Jr., Artistic Director of New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, composer and trumpeter is among some of the hottest New Orleans musicians. In fact, Book One, which features New Orleans jazz, big band swing, and salsa, sizzles, snaps and shakes about.
There are plenty of horns here, held down by bass, drums, piano, clarinet and soulful vocals. From the opener 7th Ward Blues (heavily flooded area after Hurricane Katrina hit), to the foot tapper Move On Ahead featuring blues singer John Boutte, Book One will get listeners going, while also lifting moods. I believe that this kind of music has kept the Crescent City residents' spirits up. Beat moves to salsa rhythms and one of my favorite tracks, In Love All Over Again Johnaye Kendrick (an emerging talent)treats us to her earthy vocals.

Anyone needing to lift their moods and feel alive will benefit from a listen or two or three of this recording. New Orleans Jazz Orchestra is more than a band. It is also a nonprofit organization whose mission is to "Inspire freedom and culture in the individual and the global community by creating authentic, engaging jazz experiences while celebrating the origins and transforming the future of jazz." This sounds like a good cause to me. How about you, are you going to jump on the Crescent City jazz train?

World Village

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