|John Boutté at 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Photo © Ron Weinstock|
Boutté’s sets are also fortunately documented by JazzFest Live, the service that makes available on either CD or download, a number of performances from each year’s festival (Check jazzfestlive.com). This year’s set (from April 30, 2011 at the WWOZ Jazz Tent) was no exception so I am able to savor the performance I enjoyed in person. And what is striking is how his sets may have overlap in songs between years, but partly with different bands, but also partly from his own fresh interpretation of the same material, performances have a different character.
This year he had a full horn section with a piano-less band that included a fine band. The difference allows even songs performed one year after another like the Steve Goodman classic City of New Orleans (Arlo Guthrie did not write it) to sound transformed from his studio (and did the nice trombone solo in addition to trumpet), or earlier live performance from 2009. Same can be said of the traditional gospel “Beautiful City, titled by the JazzFestLive folks as One of These Days, with the earlier performance standing out with forceful acoustic guitar and trumpet in its sparser backing.
Then there is the jazz standard that opens this, Basin Street Blues, and a wonderful rendition of Little Willie John’s “Let Them Talk (titled by JazzFest Live as I Want The World To Know) done as a tribute to the legendary James Booker with nice horn voicings in support. Particularly moving is the moving rendition of his post-Katrina collaboration with Paul Sanchez Try to Find a Meaning, which he dedicated to those suffering in the Midwest US and Japan suffering from the natural disasters of the first part of 2011.
|John Boutté - Photo © Ron Weinstock|
I look forward to my next opportunity to listen to a musical Boutté call.