While Mardis Gras has come and gone and the Jazz and Heritage Festival is weeks away, don't think the city of New Orleans, Louisiana is sitting still, not even for a minute. After all, this is the city where music fills the air day and night, 365 days a year. If you can't travel to New Orleans to enjoy the sights and sounds, don't despair. One new CD will make you feel as though you're standing on the corner of Bourbon Street and Orleans.
You don't have to be a spectator at Jazz Fest to experience great New Orleans music. Nor do you have to book an expensive hotel room overlooking the French Quarter. With the release of New Orleans, you don't even have to leave home. Just close your eyes and listen to this voice that's been delivering authentic New Orleans music for more than 30 years, Doctor John.
Doctor John, playing "Basin Street Blues," is one of the hearts and souls of New Orleans. Having grown up on the backside of the French Quarter, he absorbed everything from second-line jazz (brass-band street parade), Dixieland and southern blues to honky-tonk, swing, funky soul, and his own brand of voodoo music called "gris gris".
New Orleans was also home to Louis Armstrong.
As influential with his voice as he was with his trumpet, Louis Armstrong is so revered that a statue in his honor stands proudly in Louis Armstrong Park. Not a bad tribute for someone who spent his childhood singing for pennies on the streets of the notorious Storyville district.
Others like Louis Prima, the Preservation Hall Hot 4, Doctor Michael White, Topsy Chapman, Doc Cheatham and Nicholas Payton round out the new CD, New Orleans. The collection is one of five discs from Putumayo World Music dedicated to Louisiana's rich musical heritage: Zydeco, Cajun, Louisiana Gumbo, and a retrospective of songs from seven solo albums by 30-year-old New Orleans "trad" jazz trumpeter and vocalist Kermit Ruffins.