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David Lasocki, A Higher Fusion: The New Orleans Modern-Jazz Group Astral Project at 34 (Instant Harmony Music)

The cover of David Lasocki’s book A Higher Fusion: The New Orleans Modern-Jazz Group Astral Project at 34 shows the group as a quartet—saxophonist Tony Dagradi, guitarist Steve Masakowski, acoustic […]

Inside the Music: The Life of Idris Muhammad, Idris Muhammad (Book Review)

In the heyday of New Orleans rhythm and blues, it was rare that sidemen on a recording session were credited. Yet jazz aficionados are aware that it was Idris Muhammad […]

John McCusker, Creole Trombone: Kid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz (University Press of Mississippi)

The true secrets of Edward “Kid” Ory (1886-1973) might still lie locked up in Gregg shorthand—a form of stenography that was invented by John Robert Gregg in 1888—in a series […]

Matt Miller, Bounce: Rap Music and Local Identity in New Orleans

The bounce music misnomer has been around for decades: DJs with little access to live instruments just shouted obscenities over simple beats to which women can shake their asses. Dismissive […]

Cory MacLauchlin, Butterfly In The Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole & the Remarkable Story of ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ (Da Capo Press)

He was, history now contends, one of the greatest writers New Orleans ever produced, perhaps the only such contender born (unlike Lafcadio Hearn) and raised (unlike Truman Capote) in the […]

Buddy Guy with David Ritz, When I Left Home: My Story (Da Capo Press)

“If I started in on what had become my live style—twisting the notes real hard, playing riffs that sounded like they came from outer space, letting the tape buzz and […]

Jay Mazza, Up Front and Center: New Orleans Music at the End of the 20th Century (Threadhead Press)

Jay Mazza has been faithfully listening to and writing about the music scene in New Orleans since he moved here in 1979, and this book is his chronicle of what […]

R.J. Smith, The One: The Life and Music of James Brown (Gotham Books)

“In New Orleans, Brown announced he was retiring soon,” we learn on page 183 of The One. That was circa 1966, mind you, and of course he announced he was […]

Ben Sandmel, Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans (Historic New Orleans Collection)

At last, Ben Sandmel’s long-awaited tome about singer Ernie K-Doe, possibly the wildest character to call the Crescent City home, has arrived. In Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New […]

Thomas W. Jacobsen, Traditional New Orleans Jazz: Conversations with the Men Who Make the Music (LSU Press)

There are few listeners in New Orleans who’ve devoted themselves as fervently to the cause of covering traditional jazz as Tom Jacobsen. Traditional New Orleans Jazz: Conversations With the Men […]