I have been following Juan [Michael Juan Nunez] around for about two and a half years and it has become an addiction to see Juan, Chad and Chief (Clint) do their stuff [Reviews, August 2012]. I have driven all the way over to Alabama to see Juan and would follow his band anywhere! There have been some amazing performances. Juan is an incredible songwriter.
—Patty McGehee, Ponchatoula, LA
SUBLIME SATCHMO FEST
What a wonderful event! While we had to miss a lot of live music in exchange for spending time at all the seminars, it was time well spent. Legends of jazz scholarship and critical writing, George Avakian (Louis’ record producer), the wonderful Ricky Riccardi, a most amazing archivist from the Louis Armstrong House Museum and many others. Film and audio clips not seen or heard before. So much to enjoy and learn. This was our first time but this event now owns a spot on our calendar — and in our hearts.
—John Jacobs, Tucson, AZ
JOLT OF JOY
Your August issue came, indeed, right on time, as the cover proclaimed, a big smiley Louis Armstrong jolt of joy to relieve the summer doldrums. I subscribe to all of the major American jazz magazines and this issue was as interesting, attractive and well written as anything I’ve read in them in the past few years, especially the articles on Kid Ory and the Satchmo tribute. Thanks for such an excellent magazine. It’s truly impressive that you all are able to do this with something that is distributed free on the streets.
—Thomas M. Barrett, California, MD
Great article [“String Theory: New Orleans String Bands and Louis Armstrong”] but surely you skipped a step in jumping to Django and his friends. They were strongly influenced by the recordings of Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti, who made many fine guitar/ violin-based records starting in 1926 or so.
—Mike Daley, Toronto, Canada
You are correct that Lang and Venuti preceded Django in recording jazz. Unfortunately, I was limited in space for the article and left out much more. The focus of the article was on New Orleans string bands around the turn of the century and their influence on the first generation of jazz musicians up to Louis Armstrong. Django Reinhardt was used in the closing paragraph for perspective.
I thought I’d help out by making an important correction to the lovely interview that Brian Boyles has conducted with one of my influences, DJ Spinderella (Salt-n-Pepa), in your July 2012 issue.
In the interview, Boyles tells Spinderella, “You definitely had a big impact in New Orleans with the song ‘I’ll Take Your Man’ which was one of the first tracks on a national level to feature the ‘Triggerman’ beat of bounce music.”
“I’ll Take Your Man” (1986) absolutely does not feature “the ‘Triggerman’ beat of (New Orleans) bounce music.” The drums of “I’ll Take Your Man” are directly sampled from Washington D.C. go-go music pioneers Trouble Funk, and a drum break of theirs referred to as “Double Trouble,” first released in 1983 and then again in 1985. Even Spinderella acknowledges this in her response: “A lot of our music was influenced by the sound of go-go… But you’d have to ask Hurby about that track.”
The “Hurby” that she refers to is Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor, the man who “discovered” Salt- n-Pepa and produced all of the group’s tracks, including “I’ll Take Your Man.” Azor’s love of and use of the D.C. go-go sound was well known, as he sampled a previously recorded D.C. go-go beat for the group’s “My Mic Sounds Nice” (1986), and did it again with the group’s “Shake Your Thang” (1988), which not only featured co-lead vocals from “Sugar Bear” of the popular D.C. go-go band E.U., but also a drum sample of “What’s That” aka “Happy Feet” by Mass Extension, another D.C. go-go group.
In no productions of Salt-n-Pepa will you find a sample of The Showboys’ “Drag Rap (Trigger Man),” a 1986 record out of New York, whose beat would become the basis of what is known today as New Orleans bounce music. Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight, with accuracy, about our important African American music culture.
—Melissa A. Weber a.k.a. DJ Soul Sister, New Orleans, LA
NO MORE CLASSICAL MUSIC
I read your [Jan Ramsey] Weekly Beat email blast column [“Times They Are A-Changin’,” July 18, 2012] just now and am so thoroughly saddened by the WWNO news!
Please know that I so appreciate the eloquence with which you elucidated my own thoughts. We are truly, truly a sad society if we cannot support the arts in all their many guises. And yet particularly if we abandon the great classic arts and our music heritage. (Selfishly I say this not only as an audience member, but as someone who studied voice for years, including three years in Europe and a scholarship to the University of Texas, before inding my “other voice” and becoming a writer.) Keep up the good work and stay on that soapbox!
—Trevor Wisdom, New Orleans, LA
Cutting out classical music during the day on the regular 89.9 really stinks. This is not to say I don’t like NPR news—it’s the best in town—but I’ll miss the daytime music. I guess I’m going to have to go Hi Def.
—Tom Jacobsen, New Orleans, LA
Edward Kid Ory was the greatest tailgate man ever! The finest example of his style is to be found on the recordings of the New Orleans Wanderers/Bootblacks from 1926, all electrically recorded in beautiful fidelity. Others to be counted in are: Roy Palmer, George Brunies and Jim Robinson (at least they are my favorites).
—Trygve Hernes, Trondheim, Norway
WALKIN’ WITH A MOUNTAIN
Thank you so very much [John Swenson] for your insights into the importance of Uncle Lionel and his contributions to the music of this great city. You both have dug deep, and the result is one of the best interviews I have ever read in OffBeat (and that’s sayin’ somethin’).
And huge props to Kid Merv for sharing his experiences, and his love for the man.
If one was lucky enough to accompany Uncle Lionel on one of his afternoon strolls, you were walkin’ with a mountain.
Keep on keepin’ on. Unc would have wanted it that way. Bon temps rouler!
—Brian O’Shea Papizzo, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
[In response to the news post “Circle Bar Rallies Against City Hall, Throws ‘Notary Party’ Saturday,” August 3, 2012]
I backed “Mitch” because, as Lieutenant Governor, he was a strong supporter of the arts. Where do you stand now, Mitch? If you’re not behind your “beloved” musicians (and the venues that support them) then quit exploiting them in your tourism promos.
—Andre Bouvier, New Orleans, LA
We had a great time [Little Feat ticket giveaway] and can’t thank y’all enough. I really enjoy the magazine and use the website all the time. You guys are awesome.
—Kim G. Mayhall, New Orleans, LA
The back issues arrived in good condition. I’m really glad. I’m not good at English. I need a lot of time and a dictionary to read your magazines. You guessed right, I’m a big Sonny Landreth fan. I’m collecting his works, but I’ve never seen something like the Levee Town EP before.
—Itsuko Abe, Kumagaya, Saitama, Japan