Friday, December 14, 2012

A Few Blue Notes

The Oxford-American has just published its Annual Music Issue which this year is dedicated to the and music of Louisiana, Trah-La-La-La, Louisiana. Its the fourth of a 12 year series looking at the music associated with a southern state. Included are the usual essays exploring significant artists like Jason Berry on Professor Longhair (pictured on the cover), Amanda Petrusich on the creole accordion pioneer Amédé Ardoin, and New Orleans and Jazz by Stanley Crouch and the writings take us from Cosimo’s studio to the Louisiana Hayride. Included is a diverse recording of music from a variety of Louisiana Artists including Clarence Garlow’s “Bon Ton Roula”; a lesser known Professor Longhair recording; zydeco and cajun music from Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas as well as Octa Clark & Hector Duhon; cajun rock from Cleveland Crochet; Rev. Utah Smith’s fervent gospel classic “Two Wings”: classic soul from Johnny Adams as well as Margaret Lewis’ original of “Reconsider Me,” which Adams recorded as well; then there is some funk form the legendary New Orleans Band, the Gaturs as well as from Lil’ Buck & the Top Cats (who included Lil’ Buck Senegal and Stanley ‘Buckwheat’ Duval); “Shirley” by the 16 year old John Fred (a few years before Judy in Disguise With Glasses; Dr. John; and Kid Ory. This issue is available at Barnes and Noble (where I purchased my copy) and I would presume better independent bookstores. You can also purchase this from the Oxford American directly, and here is the link to their website,

The Wire is devoted to a variety of improvised music. The current issue has a feature on legendary free jazz saxophonist Peter Brotzmann and his music and art. Included besides the feature on him is an overview of his very extensive recording career that ranges from fundamental works of the free improvisational scene in Europe to his collaborations with artists like Sonny Sharrock, Bill Lasswell and Ronald Shannon Jackson. I purchased my copy at Barnes & Noble

Taste of Treme: Creole, Cajun, and Soul Food from New Orleans' Famous Neighborhood of Jazz by (2012: Ulysses Press) is a cookbook by a self-described Cajun and Creole foodie ( and this profusely illustrated volume presents recipes with new twists on such classic New Orleans favorites like Muffuletta Salad, Chargrilled Oysters, Crawfish and Corn Beignets, Shrimp and Okra Hushpuppies; Chicken and Andouille Gumbo, Roost Beef Po’ Boy, Bananas Foster and more. Also included are cultural facts about the music, architecture and dining that make up Tremé. I should mention I received a free copy because I gave permission for them to include a coupe of images (Uncle Lionel Batiste (page 16) and saxophonist Roger Lewis (page 134)). I am not a cook but this is a wonderfully designed and illustrated volume that I am sure will provide some inspiration for the culinary folk out there. Here is the Christian Science Monitor review of the book,

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