JazzFest Eve: The Tribes have Gathered

Posted: April 26th, 2018 | Filed under: Culture, Music | 6 Comments »

So, Suzette, she of Mitchell and Suzette, the Connecticut couple the Film Babe and I met several years back as we all were strolling to the Louisiana Music Factory for the Day Before Pow Wow, is standing with Jordan, their daughter, a JazzFest neophyte.

They have a bunch of album covers splayed out on a counter top. Jordan’s deciding which ones to buy, her decision based somewhat on music but just as much perhaps more on cover aesthetics. She’s going to frame and hang them in her new abode in NYC where she’s doing PR for Columbia Records.

Among the LPs, hopefully for the cover not so much the tuneage, is a Village People release.

A fellow walks by, glances over their shoulders and immediately enters the conversation as folks are wont to do here when the tribes gather for fest. He advises: “You know, I was in the Village People.”

To which proclamation the ladies look askance over their shoulders, with bemused doubt.

“No, true,” he continues, “I was the construction guy.

“And I invented the whole YMCA thing.”

At which point, a woman walking by, who may have known him or not, interjects, doing the song’s machinations with her arms, “This thing never made sense to me.”

To which the former Village Person (???) immediately retorts, “That’s because it was meant for dyslexics.”

All the while, Cha Wha, an Mardi Gras Indian/ brass band outfit have, to the delight of the rookies jamming the record joint as well as vets who know the history of the song, launched into the classic of the genre, “Indian Red.”

Hot damn, I love this town and this festival.

 * * * * *

Earlier while Mitchell and I were chatting up, walks an old acquaintance from Louisville, Alan. He and his bride Cathy, who went to Sophie Newcomb back when, are at their 28th JazzFest, staying in their usual room in their favorite hotel. (Nice to know there are folks as obsessive as me. I stay at the same place every year, if only for the incredible vies of the river bend and the Quarter.)

I don’t know that I’ve ever run into them as a couple back home. But I do see them every year at this JF Eve ritual, heading to LMF for CDs, schmooze and a sense of reconvergence.

As Richard Thompson once said when performing on the Gentilly stage, “Where else in the world would you possibly want to be than in New Orleans at JazzFest?”

Suzette had earlier advised that their first trip down — Mitchell was tired of buying her jewelry for her birthday or their anniversary of something so chose this adventure — was “a life changing experience.”

Which words Alan, a shrink for heavens’ sake, also used after I told him how I’d been affected by my first JF concert, an evening cruise on the Riverboat President with Gatemouth Brown, Allen Toussaint, and Professor Longhair.

Where else to be indeed!

 * * * * *

The Marsalis clan is to New Orleans jazz as the Nevilles and Batistes are to Crescent City soul and funk.

Jason is among the latest of the family to make his mark, playing contemporary jazz on the vibes with his group.

Between songs at LMF, when introducing his band, Marsalis advises he learned of his bass player Amina Scott over the internet.

Good find. The lady can play.

 * * * * *

The fascinating group of 8 my pals Marc and Michael put together last night at Mosca’s killed it.

Three orders of Chicken a la Grandé. (Which was unanimously dubbed far and away the best any of us had ever had in our many visits through the decades to Provino Mosca’s joint.) Two orders of Oysters Mosca. Two orders of Spaghetti Bordelaise. Crab salad for all.

Veni. Vidi. Vici.

We came. We saw. We conquered.

Clean plates all around.

And the conversation was ab fab. Among us were a couple barristers, a music producer, a film maker, an equine vet, a finance dude, a successful entrepreneur and yours truly, who found himself soppin’ a roll in the garlic sauce even after I was way past full squared.

 * * * * *

Did I mention the festival, with a boffo weekend weather forecast, doesn’t even start until tomorrow?

Maybe so, but the party has already commenced.

— c d kaplan



6 Comments on “JazzFest Eve: The Tribes have Gathered”

  1. 1 Don Blackburn said at 8:32 pm on April 26th, 2018:

    Missed you at lunch Wed. Have a great time!

  2. 2 Mike Skelton said at 8:05 am on April 27th, 2018:

    Okay Chuck we need some pics to flesh this thing out. You know, the 1000 word rule. Have fun and safe return.

  3. 3 Ben Isaacs said at 8:23 am on April 27th, 2018:

    In the inimitable words of David Byrne –

    “Home is where I want to be
    Pick me up and turn me around
    I feel numb, born with a weak heart
    I guess I must be having fun

    The less we say about it the better
    Make it up as we go along
    Feet on the ground, head in the sky
    It’s okay, I know nothing’s wrong, nothing

    Oh! I got plenty of time
    Oh! You got light in your eyes
    And you’re standing here beside me
    I love the passing of time
    Never for money, always for love
    Cover up and say goodnight, say goodnight

    Home, is where I want to be
    But I guess I’m already there
    I come home, she lifted up her wings
    I guess that this must be the place

    I can’t tell one from the other
    I find you, or you find me?
    There was a time before we were born
    If someone asks, this is where I’ll be, where I’ll be oh!

    CDK – you are home ! Keep on rockin’ in the free world ! ⭐️

  4. 4 Joanie said at 9:33 am on April 27th, 2018:

    Yes I love your daily reports. Makes me feel I’m right there. Wish I was. Have a blast darlin. YMCA – hah

  5. 5 Joanie said at 9:35 am on April 27th, 2018:

    I will just have to be satisfied with an evening with the Mavericks. And I will. Give my best to all our friends in Nola.

  6. 6 Dough said at 11:09 am on April 27th, 2018:

    Beam me down Scotty, or is that up?
    Keep on keeping on, mon ami.

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