Tag Archives: jazz
January 26, 2013
Mahavishnu Orchestra is in the pantheon of jazz fusion pioneers. Black hole density, volcanic intensity and ridiculous virtuosity. I had never heard anything quite like John McLaughlin’s searing fretwork, Jan Hammer’s prog-funk sounds and Jerry Goodman’s violin thrown to the front of what truly seemed to be an inner mounting flame. Not for the faint of heart. Beneath it all was drummer Billy Cobham, who played at Mach tempos and time signatures with the necessary muscle to stir the mix.
While Mahavishnu (especially in its original lineup for three brilliant albums) occasionally slowed down, more often than not, there was an avalanche of notes and spaces were usually avoided. The influence of McLaughlin’s Eastern spiritualism was very much present and the music omni-powerful. After Mahavishnu, McLaughlin turned away from the fire and the volume way down with his acoustic Indian trio Shakti, Jan Hammer went on to Miami Vice fame and blazed rock fusion territory with Jeff Beck, and Billy Cobham recorded his first solo album, 1973’s “Spectrum”. Cobham brought along Hammer, session master Leland Sklar on bass and guitarist Tommy Bolin (all of 21, before he went on to play with the James Gang and Deep Purple), as well as the great Ron Carter on acoustic bass and Joe Farrell on reeds/winds. A mix of funk and fusion, Hammer’s trademark mini-moog squelches and electric piano, Bolin’s cross-over agility, and Cobham’s furious chops placed up front, in the middle and sideways, “Spectrum” stands on its own as one of the seminal albums of its genre. Opening with a stampede of toms (“Quadrant 4”) and closing with Crusaders like funk (“Red Baron”), the album still holds up, even 40 years later.
Cobham has been recording at a Woody Allen like pace over the years, with over 40 albums under his own name and a resume that includes Miles, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Quincy Jones, McCoy Tyner and other jazz luminaries too numerous to mention (I’m partial to 1976’s “The Billy Cobham – George Duke Band: Live on Tour in Europe,” with John Scofield and Alfonso Johnson). Looking back on where it started seems appropriate.
To say Cobham is almost machine-like in his playing is more a testament to his strength and precision than a description of his breakneck pacing and explosive fills. In fact, on more recent listening, it is Cobham’s snare that is the constant. Always bubbling and percolating under whatever he is playing. While his double kick drum set up is rock in posture, it should not be taken as a jazz equivalent of Spinal Tap. Far from it (though I was curious how his traditionally monster kit plus band would fit on the snug Mint stage).
The Spectrum 40 tour reunites Cobham with Mahavishnu violinist Jerry Goodman, with Cobham vets Dean Brown on guitar, Gary Husband on keys and Ric Fierabracci on bass. The tour had been in the Northeast and followed that up with West Coast dates in L.A, Santa Cruz and Oakland.
Beginning with a snare roll that barreled into the theme of “Mushu Creole Blues” (from 1994’s “The Traveller”), the Spectrum unit started to swing quickly as Goodman and Brown enthusiastically tangled with each other. Husband’s topically named “If the Animals Had Guns, Too” (from his 2012 release, “Dirty & Beautiful, Volume 2”) went to darker, freer corners in a more compact tune. Husband is an exceptional drummer in his own right, which must bring added intuition to his keyboard interplay with the bandleader. Cobham was relaxed and loose with the crowd as he introduced the band, admittedly a bit “fuzzy” after their escape from New York, just before a Nor’easter shut down travel. After the intros, the band jumped into Dean Brown’s “Two Numbers” (from Brown’s 2012 release, “Unfinished Business”), which found an interesting African marimba like feel at its mid-point. An extended Cobham solo stitched rhythmic fits and starts into a locomotive, mixing sheets of tom fills with his snare and cymbals, drawing the snare down to the barest paradiddle before an inundating flurry of strikes that launched “Stratus” (from the original “Spectrum” album and a fusion “greatest hit”, deservedly so). This being the first time I saw Cobham live, I was struck by how he played such a large kit (2 kicks, 2 floors, 4 rails and enough metal to melt into a car) like one half its size. That’s finesse.
The second set began with Goodman’s “Brick Chicken” (from 1999’s, “Stranger’s Hand”, a collaboration of Goodman, harmonica player Howard Levy, drummer Steve Smith and bassist Oteil Burbridge), and a flat out boogie that wouldn’t be out of place as a jam band crowd pleaser. “Fragolino” (also from “The Traveller”) and Ric Fierabracci’s “Sphere of Influence” (from 2007’s “Hemispheres” with Phil Turcio, Brett Garsed and Joel Rosenblatt) brought some (relatively) gentler passages between feverish highs. The set closed on the heels of another Cobham solo with “Quadrant 4”(from “Spectrum”), a total stomp with rock hero sensibilities and a 405 pileup of a crescendo. “Red Baron” had to be the encore (which also appropriately closes “Spectrum”), the band returning to its feel good theme many times over and leaving the stage to a very happy and appreciative audience. This was an outstanding night of music and the material a worthy revisit 40 years later.
A special shout out to The Mint. The Spectrum 40 show was the second KKJZ sponsored event at the venue in a week (following Joe Lovano and the US 5 with Esperanza Spalding), and if these shows are any example, the versatile booking of The Mint is a welcome and vibrant addition to the Los Angeles jazz scene. The room is a not a traditional clinking glasses, hushed at your seat jazz club. It is informal, open and intimate (but be prepared to stand). With Stanley Clarke leading his band through a three date run across town, not a bad week for Los Angeles jazz either.
Check out this recent interview with Billy Cobham talking about the tour and the band. Good stuff.
For the drummers reading this, Billy Cobham also teaches online at ArtistWorks (and gives students feedback on their playing, really). Pretty cool.
From the Revivalists passionate opening Gentilly set to the final moments of Springsteen’s plaintive reading of Saints, the first weekend of Jazzfest 2012 was an abundance of special moments. Yes, the draws were the Acura headliners. Petty and Bruce delivered deep satisfying sets (from what I was able to catch), and Springsteen’s presence was a rallying cry of celebration and reflection. A reminder of how New Orleans has healed since his epic 2006 post-Katrina Seeger Sessions appearance, and how far there is still to go. Even the Beach Boys brought their game, judging by the smiles and sing alongs from a nice size Acura crowd. But, hey, did you check out Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 at Congo Square? The four generations of players from 9 to 90+ that filled the Fais Do Do on Saturday for the Savoy Music Center Cajun Jam? How about Bon Iver’s stirring (and unexpected) connection with the Jazzfest crowd? Gary Clark, Jr. absolutely tearing down the Blues Tent opposite the Boss with Texas blues that left teeth marks? Not to mention the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars and Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen showing Tom Petty how it’s done in New Orleans. Sure until self-cloning is an app, we all pang for what we missed. Weekend 1 proved, yet again, no matter where you are at the Fest, it’s exactly where you should be.
The days between were not too shabby. Instruments A’ Comin’ on Monday night at Tip’s and New Orleans Musicians for Obama at Generations Hall on Tuesday had my head spinning (in a good way). IAC was loaded this year, as always. The sight/sounds of the best young brass in town marching along a closed Napoleon Ave. is breathtaking, and Shorty, Galactic, HISB and a cast of thousands made for a very satisfying 4:30 AM bedtime. Tuesday night’s “ObamaFest” had some unfortunate ticketing glitches, but once inside Generations Hall, there was a little bit of everything with two stages, multiple bars and a great relaxed vibe. The mostly Meters mini-set with Dr. John was locked in and tight, the highlight of the night by far.
The second weekend of the Fest boasted one of the richest lineups in year. While the Foos and the Eagles were not in the cards for me (my closest encounter was fighting the 65,000 Eagles fans for the exit), the Gentilly Stage and the Blues Tent pulled me like magnets. Thursday can never be a bad day. The crowds are lighter and headliners undemanding. It’s easy to roam, chill and eat. Like a bonus day. Flow Tribe completely entertained, Glen Hansaard sang/played his heart out with a 6-string that makes Willie Nelson’s “Trigger” look new. Honey Island Swamp Band’s “Bayou Americana” keeps getting better. George Porter, Jr. and his Runnin’ Pardners were totally in the groove. Regina Carter’s Reverse Thread was magical and Florence Welch had me completely under her spell. Only at Jazzfest could Florence + the Machine be counterpointed with the earthy grit of James Cotton’s blowing in the Blues Tent. If that’s a down day at the Fest, give me more.
Friday was a highlight. Grace Potter’s scorching stage presence was topped by the Nocturnals go for broke delivery. Hornsby’s long overdue Fest debut was juicy and this Bruce was loving every minute of it, especially when joined by dem ‘bones. Rodrigo y Gabriela’s metal rooted world nylon string mash up was mesmerizing. Zac Brown showed why he is a festival circuit favorite, and so much more than a solid country rock comer.
Saturday brought a rollicking (and rocking tight) Allen Toussaint set. Anders Osborne, fresh from the release of “Black Eye Galaxy” dug deep and raw, then vulnerable. Dropping the guitar and backed by strings, “Higher Ground” was simply beautiful. John Boutte brought the house down with a triumphant Jazz Tent performance and running between My Morning Jacket, Herbie Hancock and the Warren Haynes Band (with Dr. John) sums up why there is nothing like Jazzfest. The Haynes Band especially shined in the slot originally scheduled for Levon Helm. Levon’s spirit was all over the Fest, whether it was Hornsby covering “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” or Mavis Staples bringing the crowd to tears in the Gospel Tent with “The Weight”.
By the time Sunday rolls around, you tell yourself the tank is more than half full, not running down fast. You believe the flight home is just a scheduling mistake, rather than a cruel joke. Then Galactic overpowers the Acura crowd. Glen David Andrews brings out that red horn and everyone rises a few inches off the ground. You go to church with the entire Boutte clan. David Sanborn and Joey DeFrancesco seize the Jazz Tent crowd before the final coming together to honor 50 years of Preservation Hall, with guests that celebrate all that is New Orleans music. Go shake it with Sharon Jones and her Dap Kings before the reality sets in that there are only 355 more sleeps to Jazzfest 2013. Now that’s a life. Thank you Quint and every human who make Jazzfest possible.
September 20, 2011
There are only so many seminal musical moments in one’s life, and the first time I saw Return to Forever live was one of them. I felt as if my head cracked open and exploded from the inside. But I digress.
As a teen of the 70s, I was drawn (without explanation) to artists signed to Manfred Eicher’s ECM (e.g., Edition of Contemporary Music) label. It wasn’t just the stunning zen like imagery on the cover of every pressing. And I was probably still too young to fully appreciate the unprecedented freedom Eicher the producer afforded his international roster of artists any time they entered the studio. Still, something about the utter musical liberation completely unmoored from tradition and the mainstream got its hooks into me. Even if some of the music was so arcane and outside to my ears, I took pride in my ability, if not patience, to expose myself to such intellectual pursuits that aimed straight for the head. I didn’t read Kerouac or Ginsberg (at least until later), I listened to Jan Garbarek and Terje Rypdal. This from a kid who had been spinning Zeppelin, the Allmans, the Who, the Stones and anything else guitar driven and blues influenced since I was a wee lad. It was truly a new universe of possibilities. I had heard Miles, maybe a little Coltrane, and some of the more mainstream CTI catalog like Freddy Hubbard, George Benson (before he tunefully opened his mouth) and Hubert Laws, but my jazz vocabulary was limited to about, well, what you would expect for a musically curious 14-year old in the earlyish-70s. ECM blew that door wide open and I was introduced to the likes of Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Ralph Towner, John Abercrombie, Keith Jarrett, and yes, Chick Corea, for the first time.
Light as a Feather (released on Polydor), didn’t blow my mind, it blew me away. This was world influenced jazz not bound by tradition, but grounded in the rich humus of an ancient rainforest and stirred to flight to move body and spirit. Flora’s ethereal refrains, the killer sound of Chick’s Fender Rhodes running fleetly in step with Airto’s can’t keep it in frenetic pace. The quieter moments when the ensemble steps back and Stanley Clarke’s tone is as fat and satisfying as a deep blue lake, then moves and hustles like a greyhound while never losing that same tone. Joe Farrell’s tenor and flute a perfect foil to all, with solos that breathed and inspired. This was jazz as I’d always wanted to hear it.
Flash forward a year or two, and the influence of guitar heavy rock was absorbed by jazz players everywhere, for which many a critic hold Miles’ ”Bitches Brew” accountable and certainly the alums of that project, Chick Corea and John McLaughlin among them, embraced with great enthusiasm. This was hyper-attenuated, black hole dense stuff not for the faint of heart. Of course, I took to it like a narcotic, the denser, the more complex and precise the playing, the better. I ate it up. Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Birds of Fire or Inner Mounting Flame, or RTF’s Hymn to the Seventh Galaxy were not exactly meditative and introspective. My unhealthy attachment to jazz fusion was an acting out, not a cry for help, but a need to be different. It was my ‘90s grunge phase, just 20 years earlier, it didn’t get me a lot of dates, but I made some good male friends with similar musical tastes.
Which brings me back to the first time I saw RTF live. Somehow, my 15-year old self and a buddy found our way into the legendary Troubadour for their first tour with Al DiMeola. We were seated at the foot of the stage and to open the show, Scatman Crothers, who must have been in his mid-60s at that point, came out armed with nothing more than a ukulele and a lot of courage. He entertained the room for a half-hour or so. Herbal substances may have been involved and the incongruity of the billing had my not so nimble mind confused, and the anticipation for the headliner on high boil. This was the “Where Have I Known You Before” tour and from the moment these four guys hit the stage, it was lights out. I had never experienced music so physically imposing live. The room could not contain the intensity. The barely out of his teens DiMeola had recently replaced Bill Connors and Chick was a long way from the gentle Fender Rhodes sound of Light as a Feather. This was knife edge stuff. Lenny White must have had four hands and Stanley Clarke was simply a force of nature. The world looked different, brilliant, potentialized after this show.
Not until recent years have I dared to revisit much of this music, fearful that time would not treat it kindly in the 2000s. To the contrary, our downloadable era of forgettable singles, classic rock pimped to the extremes, faux playback that fills arenas and Garage Band, reflects rather well on the jazz fusion pioneers of the ‘70s. In fact, the in your face compositional and technical brilliance expressed by RTF and others stands out as strikingly immediate, pungent and real. So, it was with great anticipation I headed to the Greek to hear the fourth gen of the band (billed as RTF IV).
After a 30-year break, this tour is the second RTF reunion in 3 years and has a slightly different look. The core of Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White remains intact and is interestingly augmented by ‘70s fusion pioneer in his own right, violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, with Frank Gambale stepping in for DiMeola. The buzz for the tour has been very strong, the band reaching back to cover signature compositions including Corea’s “Spain”, Ponty’s epic “Renaissance” and Clarke’s “School Days”. Sets for earlier dates had been consistently 8-9 tunes in length ensuring ample exploration from all.
The Greek was filled. A great sign to begin with that this music still has a strong audience. And it was an appreciative one at that. The performance was introduced by none other than RTF aficionado Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Kareem, not known for his public verbosity was warm and chatty, and that’s saying a lot right there.
Opening with “Medieval Overture” (from 1976’s Romantic Warrior), RTF IV launched headfirst into what would be an off the charts night. With Ponty effortlessly blending into the band, and interestingly enough, lending the same instrumentation that defined Mahavishnu (with whom he played in the band’s later years), the virtuosity of the RTF unit was on full display and would remain so throughout the 100+ minute performance. The control and finesse to take the composition through its entire dynamic range, each player matching the other note for rapid fire note was pretty staggering, as it was for “Captain Senor Mouse” (from 1973’s Hymn to the Seventh Galaxy) which followed. “Captain Senor Mouse” had Chick standing and ready to jump with the composition’s Spanish influenced flourishes and synth runs, accompanied by Frank Gambale’s uncanny ability to turn on every twist and accent. Dipping again into Romantic Warrior (three of the nine tunes from the performance were off this album) for Lenny White’s “Sorceress” and then segueing into “Shadow of Lo” (from 1974’s “Where Have I known You Before”), the piece began with a lengthy intro featuring fine work by Ponty that morphed into a funk groove. As the cool night air met the intensity of the stage, steam was emanating from all the players, and Lenny White in particular appeared to be the answer to the country’s energy issues. With the segue into “Shadow of Lo”, Chick seamlessly moved between has Yamaha grand and synth/electric keys. The bridging/blending of acoustic and electric throughout the evening was a pleasant surprise and a trick to pull off, given the character and intensity of the band’s overall sound and compositional approach. On these (and other) tunes, each player found new ways to converse with one another with great moments of interplay between Corea and Ponty, and especially Corea and Clarke. RTF IV are giants of musicians and the touch and finesse they bring to material that could so easily become heavy handed is beyond impressive, it’s a feat that defies science. Yes, I’m speaking superlatives, but it was that good.
A moment about Stanley Clarke. Few living musicians have transformed the bass into a lead instrument the way Stanley Clarke has. Period. And the man is in fighting shape. Heck, until he stood next to Kareem, I’d almost take Clarke to get the better of a one-on-one between the two. For Ponty’s”Renaissance” (from his 1976 Aurora), Clarke pulled out his upright and Ponty put down his trademark blue electric as the whole band went acoustic. Clarke played below the bridge, top of the neck, slapping, thumbing, fingers moving faster than the flying horsehair of Ponty’s bow. His solo was a highlight in a performance full of highlights. As the audience found out later in the evening (with all but Gambale taking turns as emcee chatting warmly with crowd), Clarke had many friends and family at the show and no doubt even more inspired to be at the top of his game. On his “After the Cosmic Rain” (also from Hymn to the Seventh Galaxy), Clarke’s fingers were dancing faster than a flamenco master while RTF moved from galloping Spanish dance to total swing and back again.
The title cut from Romantic Warrior displayed glimpses of Chick’s classical side with Clarke later pushing him to swing again, harder (perhaps Ponty’s influence brought these occasional swing elements into the mix). Corea’s “Spain” (from 1972’s Light as a Feather) is easily considered a contemporary jazz classic, with many varied interpretations through the years (including his own). Beginning with an almost somber intro by Ponty, the entire RTF unit simply flew from start to finish with Lenny White engaging Corea in a brief duel of sorts to punctuate and play with the song’s familiar time. Perhaps most impressive, however, was the ability of Corea to engage 5,000 people in a jazz sing along. Not a few la-la-las, but up and down and around the composition’s complex melodies, echoing Chick’s keyboard runs. Corea was introduced earlier in the set as simply “The Maestro”. After pulling that off, I couldn’t put it any better.
Clarke’s “School Days” (from Clarke’s 1976 album of the same name) provided a raucous “encore” to the evening with opener Dweezil Zappa duking it out with Gambale, and Clarke practically shredding his 4-string to pieces. The interplay with Ponty, Clarke and Corea was dazzling and there were enough 256th notes (or so it seemed) to go around for everybody. As the set finished and the house lights went up, RTF remained on stage greeting friends, shaking hands with fans and hanging out.
Zappa Playing Zappa was an appropriate first act, especially with Jean Luc Ponty’s connection to Frank (Exhibit A, 1970’s King-Kong: Jean Luc Ponty Plays the Music of Frank Zappa). Chick Corea joined the band mid-set for “King Kong” to Moog it up, and trade licks, wails and squelches with Dweezil. The elder Zappa’s SG playing is legendary and under-acknowledged and Dweezil eerily matches that guitar voice and fury. In fact, he custom built his SG to replicate his father’s and the replica is so accurate, it is often mistaken for Frank’s original guitar by fans (so says Wikipedia). Many Zappa “hits” ensued including “Don’t’ Eat the Yellow Snow” (replete with full circular motion), “St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast (from 1974’s Apostrophe) – where I stole the margarine, “Dancin’ Fool” (from 1979’s Sheik Your Booti) and “Pojama People” which opened the set (from 1975’s One Size Fits All). Ben Thomas’ vocals were uncanny in capturing Frank’s inflection and humor. This is a musical legacy that truly lives on, however acquired a taste.
RTF still plays as if possessed by a single Vulcan mind meld and the performance at the Greek was nothing less than astonishing (another superlative). I latched on to the cerebral appeal of the music when I was younger and am now celebrating its maturity, cohesion and warmth. Yes, warmth that comes from generations of playing together, that pushes and challenges each individual, and the exuberance from everyone on stage at the Greek. Cohesion that comes from balancing quieter moments of introspection and thunderous power to a satisfying resolution. Maturity that comes from almost unexplainable intuition and nuance. For me, it really was a return. A reminder of the sheer power of contemporary music and its timelessness. Return. To Forever.
Postscript: A special shout out also goes to Yamaha, to which Chick Corea has been a loyal customer for many years, and whose sponsorship helped make this tour (and blog post) possible.
Three Jim Brock Photography prints raised over $1,100 for the Tipitina’s Foundation as part of this year’s Instruments A Comin’ event during Jazzfest. The featured images were of Donald Harrison, Jr., James Singleton and Snooks Eaglin, with the Snooks image well exceeding the maximum suggested bid. Jim Brock Photography is very pleased to have contributed to the Tipitina’s Foundation mission and encourages visitors to this site to support the Foundation and learn about Instruments A Comin’, the T.I.P intern program, Sunday workshops and more at www.tiptinasfoundation.org.
Jazzfest 2011 is in the books. Weekend 2 brought the it could only happen here bag of familiar closers (Jimmy Buffet, the Nevilles, et al), epic sonics (Arcade Fire, Wilco), roots, (not so) alt-country and blues (Lucinda Williams, Greg Allman, Willie Nelson), mind-bending bills (Trombone Shorty>The Strokes), sentimental moments (Rads farewell, Christian Scott proposing in the middle of his set), jazz giants (Sonny Rollins) and local and regional artists who have been, and always will be, the heartbeat of the Fest. The lack of a jam band closer seemed to go unnoticed, supplanted by an edgier, “indie” orientation – an eclectic mix even by Fest standards. “Only at Jazzfest could….” 50/60-somethings leave their front row seat for Robert Randolph and the Family Band to catch Kid Rock.
The weather cooperated to the point of being freaky. Not a drop of rain all seven days, temps warm to warmer, but not scorching. As always, the food will take a year to work off and worth it.
Whether at the Fairgrounds or night shows, I couldn’t split myself in half. Simply too much good stuff to go around.
Most of my time shooting circled the Jazz and Blues Tents, and unexpectedly (or not), the moments I took away most from this second weekend, both personally and as a photographer, were provided by the New Orleans musicians and artists I’ve covered/attended many times over. Sure, Henry Butler, Sonny Landreth and Robert Randolph tore up the Blues Tent on Sunday, and Aaron Neville’s Amazing Grace brought church to the Acura crowd as the sun went down. But the stage debut of Nine Lives during the week, and songs transformed by the Rolling Road Show at the Fest were something so big, you had to step back, smile and cry a little. There seems to be new meaning and new power in New Orleans. Rebuild, renew, that’s what people do, indeed.
Shooting the Fest is akin to an endless buffet, musical whiplash and constant discovery. Instead of full sets, joy is more concentrated, fleeting. Depending on the stage and act, three and done translates to here/now/next move. The fan inside is stifled and exhilarated. Mental focus is at a premium, especially when now doesn’t want to go. My coverage has been exhaustive some days, less intense on others, leaving the observer behind to just soak up the experience. Nature stepped up with beautiful weather, the rest was on me.
Friday opened strong, and this photographer had to bond with the mastery of Jeff Beck, but close with a smokin’ set by the New Orleans Nightcrawlers at the Jazz and Heritage Stage. The reborn roots of Robert Plant, paired with Patty Griffin and the amazing string work of Buddy Miller were also especially captivating.
Whether shooting or not, where else could anyone experience the Kentucky bluegrass of Ricky Skaggs, move on to Robert Cray’s deep and soulful well and then witness an absolutely stunning performance by Ahmad Jamal, as I spent Saturday afternoon. Bluegrass, blues and straight ahead/to your head jazz – and that’s just a taste of a day, one of seven. Sunday could not have been a more diverse experience. From the “indie-folk-rock-grass” flavored and cheeky humor of Portland’s The Decemberists, Glen David Andrews joined by Marcia Ball, Amanda Shaw, Paul Sanchez and brother Troy ruling the Blues Tent, the consistently transcendent Terence Blanchard, the Bhangra Funk of Red Baraat, and yes, even John Mellencamp closing out Acura with Pink Houses and Crumblin’ Down.
Sure, some folks complained about sound and noise bleed from Congo Square or into the Jazz Tent. It’s all part of the gumbo that’s the Fest. Pretty tasty if you ask me.
Jim Brock Photography’s image of Shamarr Allen from last year’s inaugural Threadhead Thursday at City Park is featured in this excellent USA Today article. Paying the rent as a professional musician is tough enough as it is. To say it has been a long haul can’t begin to describe the heartbeat and swing of the sounds you can’t hear or feel anywhere else. Check out the article at www.usatoday.com
In a matter of days I will be making my annual pilgrimage to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the inspiration for much of my music photography. To say it is a calling fails to describe just how strong the pull is both personally and as a photographer. Check back as images and impressions from Jazzfest 2011 are added to the site and if you make it to the Fest, I’ll be in the pit and around the fairgrounds with a huge grin and saddled with gear. More soon.
For more information on the Festival visit www.nojazzfest.com