We look back at the year 2005 that brought catastrophe to the Gulf Coast region, and look forward to the rebuilding and rejuvenation of the area through music, including Duke Ellington’s great New Orleans Suite. Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield joins us to narrate a recent live performance of his new composition “All the Saints” with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra from Christ Church in New Orleans. Also, traditional jazz clarinetist Dr. Michael White ruminates on the loss of musical collections, from a King Oliver clarinet to Jelly Roll Morton sheet music, and carrying on post-Katrina. And a montage of voices from victims of Hurricane Rita in French southwest Louisiana.
Sleigh Bells will be ringing in New Orleans, and there will be plenty of great seasonal music as well. Plus jazz writer and musicologist John Szwed talks about the Jelly Roll Morton Library of Congress recordings.
It’s a two-hour walk through streets of the city as we dive into two great eras of New Orleans music. First, it’s the 1940s and 50s R&B hit factory with studio man Cosimo Matassa; producer, arranger, trumpet player Dave Bartholomew; drummer Earl Palmer and more. There’s also a chat with The Meters—Art Neville, George Porter, Leo Nocentelli and Zigaboo Modeliste—in which we get to the bottom of the bottom, find out what’s in the pocket, and get a definition of funk from the four men who continue to dish it out.