Jazz is back on Bourbon - Part 1 - Eight Photos

Joined
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Holyoke, MA USA
My brother-in-law (that's him in front of the Sonesta, below) and I just returned from a week-long "bachelor" vacation in New Orleans. We are both jazz lovers of long standing, so my first pictures on the cafe will be of jazz. Tonight is #1....the second part will be put up in a day or two.

"Jazz is back on Bourbon" is the theme of a new jazz club in the refurbished Royal Sonesta Hotel, right in the middle of the French Quarter. Truth to tell, a combination of funk and rock had largely displaced pure jazz from the center of the French Quarter to it's fringes, mostly to Frenchmen's Street adjacent to the Quarter, but not in it....so the renovation and launching of a sophisticated jazz club...Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse....in the Royal Sonesta is something of an event for jazz lovers.

This first section is of photos taken on a Monday night, June 1, at the club and afterwards on Bourbon Street. The band in the club is the Bob Henry Tuxedo Jazz Band. The white-haired gentleman was a visiting businessman from St. Petersburgh, FL who also was an accomplished blues harmonica player and singer. Bob Henry dubbed him "Ray from St. Pete" and he played and sang his way into the hearts of the band and the crowd. After a break, the band's singer brought her mother and sister up on stage and they sang as a very accomplished "girl group" who had already released several CDs. The band provided improvisational support at a very high level. In picture #5 you can see the trombonist giving his very best improvised solo of the night as the result of "girl group" inspiration.

This lighthearted, easygoing "partying" is part of the jazz scene in New Orleans, and is quite different from a formal road tour engagement.

After leaving the club, we joined the throng on Bourbon Street and at the corner of Canal Street ran into a (very) young brass band with no name, only a donation box. (We learned later from the proprietor of the Louisiana Music Factory [a music store] that the group called themselves T.B.C. for "to be continued".) In any case these two grizzled jazz veterans stood slack-jawed along with several dozen other folk as these young cats blew the tightest brass you'll ever hear...I mean the only thing we could think to compare them to was the Count Basie band's brass section back in the '50's/early '60's....they were that good. We bought several brass band CD's while in New Orleans, including the supposedly latest and greatest, the "New Renewal Brass Band", and they couldn't hold a candle to these kids. The record store proprieter told us the kids were playing to raise money in order to record a CD....we can only wish them luck. They deserve to be heard and some fame and fortune.

#1a Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D AF 1/200s f/5.0 at 50.0mm iso360
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#1 Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D AF 1/50s f/1.8 at 50.0mm iso1800
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#2 Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D AF 1/50s f/1.8 at 50.0mm iso Hi 1 +0.3
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#3 Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D AF 1/50s f/1.8 at 50.0mm iso400
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#4 Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D AF 1/50s f/1.8 at 50.0mm iso1600
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#5 Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D AF 1/50s f/1.8 at 50.0mm iso Hi 1 +0.3
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#6 Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D AF 1/100s f/1.8 at 50.0mm iso200
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#7 Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D AF 1/50s f/1.8 at 50.0mm iso1600
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You'll be seeing a lot of New Orleans from me in the next few weeks on various forums here (I have over 400 photos to sort and "develop"). I hope you will like and find acceptable this first batch. I couldn't live without the 50 f/1.4, which took all these shots.
 
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Joined
Jun 27, 2007
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So Fla
great series Harry
I'm dying to get back down there

Desire in the Sonesta has some pretty good food as well
don't know if you tried it...
good place for lunch ( oysters and beer )..
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
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Holyoke, MA USA
Thanks, Frank.

Mike and I liked it so much we are plotting to go back in late Sept/early Oct with a few other folks. We didn't eat at the Sonesta, for no particular reason ... but the food is good most everywhere and we ate well.

One nice thing about the jazz club other than the jazz .... no cover, and the drinks are reasonable. If you get back there, give a listen.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
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certainly will Harry

haven't seen my sister in a while, so its a good excuse..
 

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