12 September 2014

Walking New Orleans

I could have stayed on for the second set at Snug Harbor but I really wanted to explore the music on Frenchmen Street and through the French Quarter. I am told that Frenchman Street is the place for jazz, contemporary or otherwise. There are lots of other bars including interesting early bands, but no more contemporary jazz. But this is a lively street. Jenny Vee & the Windin’ Boys were playing on the steps of a closed bar with a few onlookers and a couple dancing. Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Boys were playing at the Spotted Cat Music Club. Both are early jazz styles with sousaphone basses. Both entertaining and capable bands. I noticed the Spotted Cat was a room with stage in one corner, bar in another and mostly open space. I was to find most bar here are open with much space for standing or dancing and just a few chairs or perhaps high tables around the side. Timber floors, dark interiors; good for active night life. I passed a string of other styles and club. New Soul at BMC had another innovation: no breaks. They just keep playing all night so people don’t leave. I arrived to the playing instrumental – Sissy funk, the band set up a groove on Fever with looped bass, the singer came up and the bass and guitar left the stage, to return after a long take with vocals and tenor and trombone solos. The singer quipped the drummer has a good bladder. Then on through backstreets seeing no more music but shop windows, statues, rains storm and the like.

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