Monday, May 03, 2010

Jazz Fest 2010

Went to Jazz Fest this past Saturday, where I got a wicked sunburn on the spots I missed with sunblock. Back of the arms, edge of the tank-top, ouchy. Made for uncomfortable sleeping last night.

Started the day with a little bossa nova tune from Russell Batiste and friends, but didn't stay long as we needed some margaritas and my compadre needed some Crawfish Monica.

Charmaine Neville was next; she is always funky and fresh. She's got this violinist these days who throws a sometimes fiddly, sometimes classical, groove into her usual mix. I remember seeing her at Benny's Blues Bar back in the 90s, tiny little joint, the woman just owns any room she plays, whether it's a dirty little blues dive or an outdoor crowd of thousands.

Next up was Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who make me want to JUMP. High energy. Never thought I'd be into this, but there was a baritone sax solo near the end of the set that was a wackaloon psychedelic jazz freakout, and it kind of made me feel like I was high, the way poetry and music and art sometimes do.

Moved on to the Fais Do Do stage for a little Cajun music by the Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band. Didn't stay too long, as we were kind of on the outer rim and when Rebirth started, I could hear both bands. Hearing two kinds of music at once makes me crazy.

So, next up: Rebirth Brass Band. I freakin LOVE a brass band. So good. Always tight, fierce, and powerful. I could go see them every week.

Back to the Fais Do Do stage for Beausoleil and Michael Doucet. Despite the presence of a murderous ligustrum in my orbit, it was a great set. Love me some Cajun music, everybody was dancing the Cajun two-step, and the Fais Do Do stage is the epicenter of wacky hats on men and women alike.

After Beausoleil we walked over to the Gospel Tent for the Aaron Neville Quintet. Couldn't get in - it was packed - so we sat outside and listened. His voice is sweet like syrup, I just can't get enough of it. I'm surprised he was at the Gospel Tent, though, that's usually the venue for traditional stomping-and-shouting gospel with a choir backing. I ain't complaining, though

Stopped by Economy Hall for twenty minutes or so of traditional Dixieland from Pete Fountain. He's an institution, and my traveling podner had never heard him, so it was kind of a must-see.

Onward: Pearl Jam. (one of these things is not like the other, eh? it's jazz and "heritage" and heritage covers a lot of stuff, including grunge, yo)

The old guys still have it, y'all. They fucking rocked it. I thought I had seen them at Lollapalooza years ago, but was kind of fuzzy about it, because, you know, *Lollapalooza*....but a woman I was in line with for the potty confirmed my vague and aged memory. I remembered Vedder climbing up in the scaffolding and singing from way up high. Boy, was *I* in a different place the last time I saw them live. 1992, eighteen freakin years ago. I'm sure they were in a way different place then, too. We were all in our twenties, for one thing. Anyway, absolute pros, Vedder is in fantastic shape, the band was tight and looked like they were having a good time and I am SO glad I went.

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