Jazz Fest preview: Ernie Vincent & The Top Notes

by Carl Abernathy on April 19, 2014

(Click to enlarge)
(Click to enlarge)

I had to sneak into the blues tent at last year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to catch a song by Ernie Vincent.

My friend and I were in the jazz tent securing good seats for sets by Ellis Marsalis and John Boutté (which was just fine by me) when I caught a break and she dispatched me to get a daiquiri.

I darted into the blues tent, took a few photos of Vincent, and started swaying. It’s hard not to when you listen to the Louisiana Music Hall of Famer play his Telecaster.

I didn’t, however, get to hear him play his classic groove, “Dap Walk.”

This year I will. We plan to camp in the blues tent all day on May 4. Vincent will be lacing his blues with funk. And then he’ll hit the first few chords of “Dap Walk” and the whole tent will start swaying.

Look for me. I’ll be the bearded guy down front with the biggest smile in the tent.

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Cahl’s Jukebox, 4-18-14

by Carl Abernathy on April 18, 2014

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(Click to enlarge)

Friday morning jazz:
1) Gerry Mulligan and Ben Webster: “Chelsea Bridge”
2) Art Pepper: “Angel Wings”
3) Lester Young: “There Will Never Be Another You”
4) Paul Desmond: “Bewitched”
5) Stan Getz: “The Way You Look Tonight”
6) Vijay Iyer: “Somewhere”
7) Bunky Green: “Little Girl, I Miss You”
8) Ruby Braff: “It’s Wonderful”
9) Stanley Turrentine: “You’ll Never Get Away From Me”
10) Kenny Garrett: “Ms. Baja”

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Brad Mehldau at Purdue

by Carl Abernathy on April 17, 2014

At one point during his concert at Purdue Thursday, Brad Mehldau tucked his legs into a lotus position on the piano bench and turned to watch drummer Jeff Ballard’s solo. Mehldau gently nodded his head and smiled.

Mehldau’s piano playing echoed the serenity of that smile all night. It’s not that he always plays softly; he doesn’t. Mehldau’s notes are solid, strong. But he might have the lightest touch of any jazz pianist I’ve ever seen. As a result, Mehldau’s songs seem gentle, even when he picks up the tempo.

On Johnny Mandel’s “Where Do You Start” and the classic “Almost Like Being in Love,” Mehldau seemed to lose himself in the beauty of the songs, almost as if he’d forgotten anyone else was in the room. The songs were gorgeous.

On other tunes, such as his own “Dexterity” and “Seymour Reads the Constitution,” also lovely, Mehldau, Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier seemed to finish each other’s musical sentences. As my friend said after the show, it’s clear they’ve been playing together for a long time.

Brad Mehldau’s set was a great way to end the Purdue Convocations jazz series. I’m looking forward to the announcement of the next season in a few weeks.

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Cahl’s Jukebox, 4-17-14

April 17, 2014

Thursday night soul: 1) Percy Sledge: “It’s All Wrong, But It’s Alright” 2) Mable John: “Left Over Love” 3) Bobby “Blue” Bland: “I’ll Take Care of You” 4) Kip Anderson: “Private Tonight” 5) Maxine Brown: “In My Entire Life” 6) Mary Wells: “You Beat Me to the Punch” 7) Betty Harris: “I’m Evil Tonight” 8) […]

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Album review: Moot Davis – ‘Goin’ in Hot’

April 17, 2014

I doubt there will be a musician releasing an album this year with a better marketing hook than Moot Davis’. Just a few days after wrapping his new album, “Goin’ in Hot,” the studio burned down. Miraculously, they managed to salvage the recordings from the hard drive of the computer, which had melted. Davis didn’t […]

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Cahl’s Jukebox, 4-16-14

April 16, 2014

Today’s mix: 1) Joni Mitchell: “Wild Things Run Fast” 2) Sam Phillips: “Pretty Time Bomb” 3) Adam Cohen: “What Other Guy” 4) Beth Orton: “Call Me the Breeze” 5) Teddy Thompson: “Love Her for That” 6) Matthew Sweet: “Not When I Need It” 7) Sarah Borges: “Girl with a Bow” 8) Bob Schneider: “40 Dogs […]

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Louisiana Music Factory live shows

April 15, 2014

The Louisiana Music Factory’s in-store concert schedule for this year’s jazz fest is out and it’s a good one. The schedule on April 30, the day we hit New Orleans, is particularly appealing. It features Kermit Ruffins, Waylon Thibodeaux, Jesse McBride & Next Generation, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Ellis Marsalis and Big Sam’s […]

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Cahl’s Jukebox, 4-15-14

April 15, 2014

Today’s mix: 1) Tony Joe White: “Who You Gonna Hoodoo Now” 2) Ray Wylie Hubbard: “Mother Blues” 3) Legendary Shack Shakers: “Old Spur Line” 4) Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band: “Clap Your Hands” 5) Coco Robicheaux: “Cottonmouth” 6) John Mooney: “Do You Love Me” 7) Gregg Allman: “Just Another Rider” 8) Raful Neal: “Down in […]

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Jazz Fest preview: Brother Tyrone & The Mindbenders

April 14, 2014

One of the first things I did when I got home from the 2011 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was to order Brother Tyrone’s album “Mindbender.” On “If You Ain’t Cheating,” the New Orleans soul singer name checks Johnny Taylor. It’s a pretty good point of reference for Brother Tyrone’s music. His voice is […]

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Cahl’s Jukebox, 4-14-14

April 14, 2014

Monday morning jazz: 1) Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington: “I’m Beginning to See the Light” 2) Anat Cohen: “Anat’s Dance” 3) Buddy Tate and Claude Hopkins: “What is This Thing Called Love” 4) Thad Jones: “If Someone Had Told Me” 5) Bunky Green: “April Green” 6) Modern Jazz Quartet: “Blues in A Minor” 7) Dick […]

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Ladyhammer: Ladyhammer(ed)

April 13, 2014

Lex Kaylan likes to bite. She chomps away with furious licks on her guitar. And lord knows she snarls as she chews on listeners’ souls with her lyrics. “Ladyhammer(ed),” the new EP by her band, Ladyhammer, just might be the most aggressive rock ‘n’ roll record released so far this decade. It’s also surprisingly accessible. […]

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