Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Irwin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra at JazzFest on May 2

One of my favorite acts at the 2009 New Orelans Jazz & Heritage Festival was Irwin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. This superb big band led by another of the young lions, leading this superb band with too many terrific soloists to identify all, but tenor saxophonist Ed Pederson and clarinetist Evan Christopher each merit mention on numbers that featured their superb playing. While not imitative of the Ellington band, Mayfield's writing and arrangements evoked the Ellington band in the overall sound of the band and Mayfield’s writing of several numbers to put the spotlight on members of the band. It is a terrific aggregation and they have a superb recording, Book One (on World Village), of many of the numbers they performed this day. I believe the vocalist's name is Johnaye Kendrick.

The recording is available from the Louisiana Music Factory and Amazon. Irwin Mayfield books the jazz club at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the French Quarter and is among those regularly performing there.

The first paragraph appeared in slightly different form in the June 2009 Jazz & Blues Report as part of my overvoew of this year's Jazz & Blues Report.

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