What does it sound like?:
One day, you may find yourself browsing in one of those new-fangled record emporiums. You may stumble across this album in the Jazz section. There is Dee Dee on the cover, resplendent in a white evening gown, draped across a chaise longue, a perfectly posed white dog by her side. Behind is what appears to be her butler but is, in fact, Irvin, sporting a matching bald head. They are clearly in the drawing room of a stately home.
The photograph is a perfect representation of the album; high class musicianship, but staged and conservative. It is meant to be a journey through the history of New Orleans, including covers of old classics and a couple of new ones. The arrangements of the old songs are quite ordinary and the new ones don’t sound ‘new’ at all. All the New Orleans clichés are here, familiar to anyone who has seen a single episode of Tremé, right down to the Dr. John feature. I spent a lot of energy stifling a yawn.
To be fair, everyone is enjoying themselves. Dee Dee allows herself a couple of genuine giggles. Her scat singing is excellent and Irvin’s trumpet is beautifully rich. Otherwise, it’s inoffensive but nothing to get the pulse racing.
So, if you do pick it up in a record emporium, put it back in the rack. This album is not for you. It’s for tourists.
What does it all *mean*?
This year remains a lean one for decent jazz. So far.
Goes well with…
A pipe, slippers and an early night. If my dad was still alive, he might like it. He would be approaching eighty.
Might suit people who like…
If you are looking for joyful jazz music originating in New Orleans, buy last year’s Viper’s Drag by Henry Butler & Steve Bernstein instead.