Thursday, April 28, 2011

Some JazzFest recommendations for Day 1 Friday April 29

Corey Ledet
I will be heading down to New Orleans for the Annual Jazz & Heritage Festival for the first weekend. I will also be attending Lil’ Band O’ Gold’s Bobby Charles Tribute at the House of Blues’ Parish Room on Friday Night and WWOZ Piano Night on Monday May 2. Of course this assumes no problems with my flight getting down there, etc. However, here are some recommendations of lesser known performers that you should think about seeing. I have avoided major touring acts like Jeff Beck, Robert Plant or Tom Jones or Wyclef Jean and also some of my favorites like the Joe Krown Trio and Irma Thomas.

For Day 1 here are several acts of note

11:15 at the Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do Do Stage - Corey Ledet & His Zydeco Band. Ledet is among the more traditional of today’s zydeco acts, but certainly can lay down a hot two step or waltz. He can channel Clifton Chenier or John Delaphose, and do a zydeco take of an Elvis hit, Burning Love. He has a fine CD A Matter of Time as well as with Cedric Watson recorded the excellent Going Down to Lousiana.

Henry Gray
12:00 in the Blues Tent - Henry Gray & The Cats. Howling Wolf’s pianist for over a decade before he moved back south to Baton Rouge for the past four decades or so where he has mixed in his Big Maceo influenced piano style heard on recordings by Wolf, Jimmy Rogers and others with a healthy dose of Louisiana Swamp Blues exemplified by his Cold Chills. He has never received the acclaim of a Pinetop Perkins, but in my mind he is Pinetop’s equal and a better singer. His annual JazzFest appearance is always a treat.

12:15 in the WWOZ Jazz Tent - Derek Douget. If Derek had moved out of New Orleans, he is a saxophonist people would be talking about. I have seen him play with the marvelous trumpeter Maurice Brown as well as with Irwin Mayfield’s NYNO. He has a terrific CD, Perpetual Motion, as well as appeared to numerous cds including those by Adonis Rose, Leah Chase, Maurice Brown and Ellis Marsalis (He is the saxophonist on An Open Letter to Thelonious).
Derek Douget

1:30 in the WWOZ Jazz Tent - Germaine Bazzle. . What can one add to New Orleans jazz Diva, a singer of exquisite tone, taste and nuance. Always has some of Crescent City’s best musicians supporting her.

Germaine Bazzle
2:45 at the Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do Do Stage - Warren Storm - Willie Tee & Cypress. As a drummer, One probably cannot count the number of recordings Warren Storm played on (many Excello swamp blues classic) but he is also a great blues-eyed soul singer which can be heard when he anchors Lil’ Band ‘0 Gold. I am less familiar with Willie Tee Trahan, but the saxophonist and Storm hooked up in the 1980s playing bars throughout the Gulf Coast and recording some fine ‘swamp pop.’ Really looking forward to seeing them.

Warren Storm
4:00PM in the WWOZ Jazz Tent - Anat Cohen Quartet. She is becoming a perennial nominee for Best Clarinet Player in the Jazz Journalist Awards and the DownBeat Awards. Conversant with traditional swing, hard bop and world music, the Israeli born Anat will be also leading her Quartet on Saturday in the People’s Health Economy Hall Tent which might suggest two very different performances displaying two different sides of this remarkable msuician and composer.]

There are a few selections. Plenty of other great music including John Mooney, Donald Harrison, Jon Cleary, Los Hombres Caliente, Keb' Mo and the Golden Striker Trio featuring Ron Carter. 
Anat Cohen

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