This is a continuation of the previous two posts:
I took a 3 day “vacation” from New Orleans to visit some dear friends, Will Dickerson and Pauli Kufner, in Austin. Coming from New Orleans, where most of the swing music is so… swinging… I wasn’t sure what to expect from Austin’s jazz scene. I was impressed to hear a group called Rent Party at Stay Gold. The group was fronted by Sarah Ulloa (Vocals / Drums) and Jamey Cummins (Guitar / Vocals). Guitarist Jake Starr was subbing out that evening to Will Dickerson but you’d never know it for how tight the band’s arrangements were!
The weather in Austin was stunning! It felt very HOT to my Canadian skin, but all the locals were talking about the sense of relief over the cool evenings having finally arrived.
The main highlight of my trip to Austin was playing music again with Will. Will and I played a lot together when we were both living in Montreal. We formed a group in 2016 called Swing Theory. We had a bit of a reunion this weekend in the form of a trio hot jazz gig, and a little recording session of two new tunes: an original of Will’s called Blues for Denis, written for Denis Chang, and an original of mine called Gulf Coast Waltz:
Back to New Orleans…
Another exciting music filled week! The weather was rainy in NOLA so I did a lot of jamming with friends, listening to Eddie Lang recordings and going to concerts than bike exploration of the city.
Russell Welch and Leo Forde – New Orleans gypsy jazz
If you want to feel the pulse of the Django scene in NOLA, Russell and Leo are where it’s at. Both of the bring a distinct New Orleans flavour to the Django tradition, both in the repertoire they call and the way they play.
Russell (Mississippi born) and Leo (Scottish), although not from here, really represent the New Orleans culture of generosity and openness. Both of them have been generous in inviting me to jam at their respective places, borrow gear and check out gigs in cool places. Thanks y’all!
Hot Jazz Jam
Nahum Zdybel runs a great hot jazz jam at Starlight Lounge on St Louis Street. Every Wednesday night, the house band sets up and plays some of the greatest 20’s and 30’s jazz I’ve heard. Nahum strikes a great balance in this jam: he’s welcoming of all musicians, regardless of stage/ability and also keeps the tunes genre-appropriate.
I’ve been digging into Eddie Lang’s way of playing since I got here. Today was a rainy day so I sat down as close to the rain as I could without getting wet to record this version of April Kisses. Thanks to Russell Welch for loaning me his Trigg New Yorker archtop guitar.
Thanks to The Canada Council for the Arts for helping support the album that will come as a result of the inspiration I derive from this trip.