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Jon Cleary, “Live at Chickie Wah Wah” (FHQ Records)

This is Jon Cleary’s first solo piano album. Since Jon is as good as anyone at performing the New Orleans R&B/funk songbook, people have been waiting eons for this. As […]

Smoking Time Jazz Club, “Ain’t We Fortunate” (Independent)

The last decade has seen a new bounty of interesting young trad jazz bands on Frenchmen Street. Old-timers like the Jazz Vipers, the Cottonmouth Kings, and the Little Big Horns […]

Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau, “Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau” (Nonesuch)

The mix of an American vernacular string master with a jazz-pop pianist now is its own genre, apparently. It started with Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby, and Chick Corea and […]

Tim Laughlin, “The Trio Sessions, Vol. 2” (Gentilly Records)

Over a 25-year recording career, Tim Laughlin’s CDs have covered Jelly Roll Morton and Bix Beiderbecke with the Dukes of Dixieland, an album of originals, delicate duets with guitarist Hank […]

Organic Trio, “Saturn’s Spell” (Jazz Family)

The organ trio has come a ways from when I listened to the format regularly. Back in the day, Jack McDuff and Groove Holmes (and of course, Jimmy Smith) ruled […]

Big Joe Kennedy, “Big Joe Kennedy’s 504-Tified” (Independent)

BJK is one of NOLA’s better-kept secrets. He’s got a strong pianistic touch, immersed in the NOLA tradition of Dr. John and James Booker. In addition he’s a booming, bluesy […]

Kevin Ray Clark, “The Awakening of Calm” (Independent)

New Orleans musicians and New Age music are an unlikely mix. But trumpeter Kevin Clark gave his melodies to jazz pianist Matt Lemmler to reconfigure; the result is the instrumental […]

Steve Pistorius, “Steamboat Days” (Independent)

Steve Pistorius has been serving up great rag, Jelly Roll Morton, stride and New Orleans jazz for as long as one can remember, yet every time you hear him, you […]

James Evans’ Octuple Odyssey, The Golden Whippet of Algiers (Jimmy Wizard Records)

There have been dozens of interesting musicians moving to NOLA in the last few years, none more so than reedman/composer James Evans. His most accessible gigs are at the Palm […]

Morten Gunnar Larsen, Sorgenfri (Herman Records)

It is quite the paradox that the greatest ragtime player in the world, and one of the world’s best traditional jazz pianists, is from Norway. Morten Gunnar Larsen is best […]