Top, from left: me, Lars Edegran, Brian O'Connell, Chuck Badie, Lionel Ferbos, Sven Stahlberg, Freddie John.  Closeup: Lars, Brian, Lionel. 
Lionel played and sang some very sweet old tunes including Was It a Dream?, River Stay 'Way From My Door, Stars Fell on Alabama, and Love Songs of the Nile. 

 
 

The anchor for this New Orleans visit is tomorrow's Jazzfest set with Clive and the Serenaders. We're onstage at 2:55 in the traditional jazz venue, the Economy Hall Tent.  It's good to remember that this is about much more than just music -- it's about immersion in New Orleans culture, the parades, the costumes, and whoa! the food. 

 
 

This afternoon's concert was at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park -- yes, it's part of the national park service.  Photos, from the top: Turning the corner as we start the walk to work; .the view from the piano bench, just before we hit; the view from the seats (from left: me, Tommy Sancton, Tom Saunders, Clive Wilson, Freddie John, Herman Lebeaux. 

 
 

The FQF has been around for over 25 years, but this was my first visit.  I played a couple of the outdoor sets on Bourbon St. (this is the view from the piano bench).  I've heard from a lot of people who like traditional jazz that they prefer this to the much bigger Jazz and Heritage Festival, which I'm playing with my friend Clive Wilson and his New Orleans Serenaders this coming Sunday, 4/26. 


 
 

Lionel Ferbos is in many ways the man I come here to see.  He's a trumpet player, at 97 the oldest still-working musician in the city. I've known him for at least 30 years and consider the chance to play with him to be the highlight of any visit.  Here he is last night, with a fan, at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe, where he works every Saturday.  This is the way he looks from the piano bench.  Note the music stand -- he brings a sheaf of lead sheets to every gig.  


 
 

At long last, it's springtime in Wisconsin.  Brave new life, hallelujah!  I'm off to New Orleans tomorrow for two weeks.  Will stay in touch.  Y'r obd'nt s'rv'nt, B. 


 
 

While working on something else here  just now, I accidentally deleted my April 7th post. It was about my friend, Max Morath.   He is a man of tremendous accomplishments, so I'm rewriting.  Max can do it all -- he's a wonderful pianist, he can act, sing, write a show, and do it all with grace.  I've known him for over 40 years, ever since he played a concert in St. Paul during a blizzard that kept everybody away except a few musicians.  We learned a lot that night.  That's where my interest in ragtime was born -- before, I had heard of Scott Joplin and even played a little of his music -- very little, as Max's show demonstrated.  He made believers out of us, and we never forgot.  I put his new CD on in the car, and it made my day. The track that did it for me was Clarence Woods' "Slippery Elm Rag," performed by Max's Original Rag Quartet, the same group we heard at that first concert.  What a band that was -- Max himself on piano and vocals, Jim Tyler on tenor banjo (he was a marvel,) Barry Kornfeld, guitar; and Felix Pappalardi, guitarron. I'd post a link, but I don't have Max's permission for that, so maybe you should check out that new CD.  It's on his website. 

 

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    Scenes from Florida, 2/24-3/6.Backstage: a pensive Hal Smith, Marty Eggers retrofitting rented bass, Topsy Chapman puzzling. Post-concert: the trio, Topsy with daughters Jolynda and Yolanda.  Next day: gardenia, Sanibel sunset. 

    Pedal to the Metal 
    Last week I hit the road for a gig in Missouri.  It was an 8-hour drive.  Here's a look at the glamorous side of the music racket, starting with the morning vitamins.  

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