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Various Artists, Live at Little Gem Saloon: Basin Street Records Celebrates 20 Years (Basin Street Records)

The beauty of this album is that it’s the real deal, which also accurately describes the musicians as well as Basin Street Records, a New Orleans label through and through. […]

The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music Jazz Orchestra, “The Silverbook Project Vol. 1” (Independent)

In many ways, this impeccably performed collection of material stands as a tribute to the late Harold Battiste, a saxophonist, composer and educator and a man with a vision of […]

‘Trombone Shorty’ / ‘The 5 O’Clock Band’ by Troy Andrews (Bookmark)

Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews’ love of music, New Orleans and the Treme neighborhood where he was nurtured, plus his sweet nature, sing out in these two books. The vibrant and […]

Without the Mask: Jon Batiste busts out of the proverbial box

It doesn’t concern Jon Batiste if some people tend to put him in a particular musical box. “That’s okay, I always break ’em,” declares the pianist, vocalist and composer who […]

The Fess Centennial: Professor Longhair’s 100th birthday

Henry Roeland Byrd was born in Bogalusa, Louisiana on December 19, 1918. On the 100th anniversary of his birth, the iconic pianist, vocalist and composer, affectionately called Fess, will be […]

Joyful, “Sanctified Soul” (Rampart Street Music)

Paul Simon’s moving “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” a huge hit for him and his creative partner Art Garfunkel in 1970, opens veteran New Orleans gospel group Joyful’s Sanctified Soul. Symbolically […]

Robert Walter’s 20th Congress, “Spacesuit” (Royal Potato Family)

Considering the name of the album, Spacesuit, and the musicians involved—organist/multi-keyboardist Robert Walter, drummer Simon Lott, guitarist Chris Alford and bassist Victor Little plus percussionist Mike Dillon—one can anticipate progressively […]

Aretha and Mahalia: Tonya Boyd-Cannon pays tribute

“I call them Auntie Aretha and Auntie Mahalia because even though I never met them I feel they poured so much into me—I learned from their words, from their music,” Tonya […]

Wess “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Mark Rapp, Chris Burroughs and David Ellington, Natural History (Jangly Records)

Natural History gets off to a happy start with the members of this collaborative ensemble—saxophonist Wess “Warmdaddy” Anderson, trumpeter Mark Rapp, organist/pianist David Ellington and drummer Chris Burroughs—all clapping their […]

Jon Batiste, Hollywood Africans (Verve)

A homage to his musical heroes     Those who only know Jon Batiste as the gregarious leader of the band Stay Human that appears weeknights on the television show […]