Author Archives: Jay Mazza

TVD Recommends:
Marc Stone and the Bayou Brothers at the Maple Leaf, 11/19

Tomorrow evening, the Maple Leaf Bar will be erupting with blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and even some Cajun country sounds when the guitarist and bandleader welcomes Dave Malone and Camile Baudoin to the historic stage on Oak Street.

Stone is well known to regular readers of TVD, WWOZ listeners, as well as blues and soul aficionados. He has been holding down the Wednesday night residency at the Maple Leaf Bar and bringing in special guests all month.

This week, the two guitarists and vocalists joining Stone are best known for their long tenure with the Radiators. But since that band disbanded from regular performing (there have been periodic reunions; the next one is scheduled for January), they have been bringing their telepathic guitar histrionics to audiences with Raw Oyster Cult.

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TVD Recommends:
Cha Dooky Doo, The Music of Art Neville
at Tipitina’s, 11/15

The terms “living legend” and “icon” get bandied around so much as to render them nearly impotent, but the genuine article lives among us. Saturday night (11/15) at Tipitina’s a group of local musicians will be joined by the man himself in an unprecedented review of his sixty-plus years setting the standard for popular music.

Art Neville first burst into the public consciousness as a teenager when his iconoclastic vocal stylings turned a little-heard country and western tune, “Mardi Gras Mambo,” into a hit. The song, released in 1954, became a perennial favorite and defines Mardi Gras music in New Orleans.

Neville’s career had just begun. Since those heady first days, the keyboardist and vocalist has claimed many other accolades. As the founding member of the Meters, he helped define a new genre of music—funk. As the eldest of the Neville Brothers he brought that style to the world.

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HIP Fest takes over the Blue Nile for two nights, 11/11 and 11/12

(HIP) stands for Hosting Improvising Performers and the second of these annual events features some of the leading lights of the creative music scene. Three internationally known musicians, William Parker (pictured), Rob Mazurek, and Gianluca Petrella, will be appearing with local players in duos and trios and together with one very special local guest at the Blue Nile.

The Village Voice characterized William Parker as, “the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time.” He is scheduled to play a duo with bassist and cornetist James Singleton and in a trio with drummer Dave Cappello and HIP Fest co-founder and trombonist Jeff Albert on Tuesday night.

Cornetist and electro-acoustic composer Rob Mazurek has helped redefine the aesthetic boundaries of artistic expression for well over a decade with his Chicago Underground Collective. He will appear with guitarist Cliff Hines as well as with bassist Nathan Lambertson and drummer Simon Lott on Tuesday night. Read More »

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TVD Recommends: Lonesome Leash opening for O’Death at the BEATnik, 11/8


O’Death has been getting raves reviews around the nation for their modern take on alt-country. I expect their set to be wonderful. But the reason I am recommending this show at the BEATnik is because one of the openers is New Orleans’ own Walt McClements performing under his nom de musique. 

Readers will remember him from his tenure with one of my favorite named bands in recent history, Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship? He was also a formative inspiration for Alynda Lee Segarra, the songwriter and leader of Hurray for the Riff Raff and he was a member of the band in one of its early incarnations. McClements has also toured with Dark, Dark, Dark—another influential band. Read on to hear his latest single.

I saw his act last year at the AllWays Lounge. He played accordion, drums, and a bit of trumpet, sometimes all at once. His singing was very evocative and the small but attentive crowd ate it up.

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UK electronic pop group Kids on Bridges collaborates with New Orleans artists

The name may not be familiar to New Orleans and American audiences yet, unless you witnessed their over-the-top set in 2011 at the Howlin’ Wolf opening for the Revivalists and the Honey Island Swamp Band, but it will be soon.

The group, whose debut album, Kidology, debuted last month has been tearing up the charts in the United Kingdom.

Released on the famed indie Wall of Sound label, it is currently ranked # 24. Famous UK brands as well as international soda slingers Pepsi are also using the band’s music.

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TVD Recommends: Gravity A’s Talking Heads Tribute plus Yojimbo, 11/1

Heads up music lovers! Amid all the mania associated with the Voodoo Music Experience you don’t want to miss hearing about one of the best shows going on this weekend. So read on. Saturday night, after the gates at Voodoo close, the Joy Theater on Canal Street will feature this killer double bill. Doors are at 11 PM.

Gravity A has been a highly regarded band on the scene since 2004, but they really hit their stride a couple of years ago. Now, they have been really turning ears with a tribute to Talking Heads featuring the guitarist and vocalist Cliff Hines.

When I first heard about this lineup, I was skeptical. Hines is better known in creative music circles and jazz. As far as I know, he was not even regarded as a first-rate vocalist. Intrigued and expecting electro-jazzy takes on T-Heads, I went to one of the early iterations of this tribute last spring at Wednesdays at the Square.

Simply put, I was blown away.

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TVD Recommends: Jorge Luis Pacheco Trio at the Prime Example, 10/30

The Cuban jazz piano player returns to New Orleans for two sets at the intimate Broad Street club on Thursday night.

Pacheco has been making waves in the Havana jazz scene and is considered one of the leading lights of the next generation of jazz artists from the music-obsessed island nation. His trio features New York-based Ivan Llanes Montejo on drums and percussion and Carlos Mena on bass.

Jorge Luis combines his classical training with his passion for jazz and playful touches of popular Cuban and American music. With his parents being prominent opera and choir directors, it’s only fitting that Jorge Luis will sing a few songs as part of this performance.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience first hand one of the best performers of contemporary Cuban music. Showtimes are 8 and 10 PM.

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Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet drops The 21st Century Trad Band today, 10/28

The second album with Marsalis’ work on the vibraphone front and center is available nationwide on the local Basin Street Records label.

As regular readers of this space know, the youngest musical brother in the Marsalis musical dynasty is best known as a drummer. But for the last few years his compositional talents, which I likened to the work of a film composer after his first release, have been showcased on the vibes.

The songs on the album take us on a journey through complex arrangements combining hard-swinging sections with more melodic interludes, unexpected turn-arounds, and an occasional introspective outro.

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TVD Recommends: Steelism at the Louisiana Music Factory, 10/25

Though I haven’t had a chance to check out these guys playing live yet, they are getting rave reviews including being listed in Rolling Stone Country’s “10 New Artists You Need to Know.” They play an in-store set at 2 PM.

NPR’s Ann Powers said, “The Nashville instrumental group Steelism stands out for its ability to blend vintage styles—steel-guitar jazz, surf rock, the cool vibe of 1960s movie soundtracks—in ways that don’t feel dated.”

Their new video “Marfa Lights,” a track from their Single Lock Records’ debut 615 to Fame, was inspired by vintage educational shorts and the British BBC comedy show “Look Around You.” The video was filmed in Nashville and directed by Nashville filmmaker/musician Stewart Copeland. You can also check out a live vid here.

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Combat vet William A. Thompson, IV’s sound composition debuts as part of Prospect 3+

Followers of local media are beginning to see coverage about the various art projects which are part of Prospect 3+—New Orleans’ international art biennial. However, most of it has focused on visual art and experimental installations. Music fans need to check out DD214—the latest effort from the musician known around town as WATIV.

DD214 is a sound composition that makes use of audio samples recorded by William A Thompson, IV while on a one-year military tour of duty in Baghdad during 2004. These audio samples range from various field, or “found sound,” to interviews with other combat veterans after deployment. The chief goal of this project is the creation of a body of musical works that express the thoughts, conditions, and inner lives of combat veterans from all wars.

In the composition, WATIV makes use of audio speech samples he collected and recorded. These speech samples are analyzed according to inherent pitch, rhythm, and implied harmony. The composition’s results vary accordingly. This “found sound” process of composition was first employed by WATIV in his 2005 release, Baghdad Music Journal. To read an NPR “All Things Considered” piece about Baghdad Music Journal, click here.

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