Obituary: jazz saxophonist Benny Waters passes away at the age of 96; Maryland native worked with New Orleans legends King Oliver and Clarence Williams.
Misc: Snoop Dogg's new No Limit Records release, "Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told" premiered at No. 1 in the Billboard 200 Chart; Dr. John has been in the studio with British songstress Beth Orton; the new CD (her second), is due for an early '99 release ... rapper Silkk the Shocker makes a guest appearance on Celly Cel's "The G Filez" album ... local resident Alex Chilton has resurrected his 60's band, The Box Tops, for a few late summer gigs ... Stanley Dural, Jr. (aka Buckwheat Zydeco) appears on Jesse Cook's "Vertigo" CD (this mixture of Flamenco, Jazz, Zydeco & World Music really rox!!) ... Better Than Ezra are among the music artists scheduled to perform at Disney's Rock 'n Rockets fireworks extravaganza being held at Walt Disney World's "Seven Seas Lagoon" on September 24/25.
Studio Notes: the latest by the Afghan Whigs, "1965", is due for release on October 13th; much of the album was recorded in New Orleans; guest appearances include Alex Chilton ... bluesman Buddy Guy recently laid down some tracks with David Z. (ex-Prince), Steve Cropper, Reese Wynan and Richie Hayward ... trumpet virtuoso Leroy Jones recently returned from the West Coast where he worked on Harry Connick, Jr.'s upcoming release.
Happy Birthday To Pops! - if the birth certificate found in the late 1980's is in fact Satchmo's, he would be celebrating his 97th birthday on August 4th; I prefer to take Louis' word for it, who always claimed his birthdate as July 4th, 1900 ... in other Louis Armstrong news: On July 4th, The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, which the jazz legend founded two years before he died in 1971, donated $1 million to bring together jazz and children; The money will support the national initiative, the Louis Armstrong Jazz Curriculum Project, to introduce jazz to children in grades four through eight; Wynton Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center who is overseeing the project, called the gift "a historic and monumental development in the history of American music education."; This is "exactly the type of activity [Armstrong] would have wanted us to embrace", said David Gold, president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. "Throughout his lifetime, Louis gave gifts to people on his own birthday," added Phoebe Jacobs, vice president of the foundation.
Louis Armstrong's house to become museum: "On July 4, 2000, the centennial of his birthday, Louis Armstrongs Corona, N.Y. home will open as a museum", says Michael Cogswell, director of the Armstrong Archives Center at Queens College. "When it finally opens it will be the first museum devoted to Louis", he says about "Satchmo's" Corona home. "It will be totally unique in the world, because Louis and Lucille lived for so long in that house and accumulated such an extensive collection of memorabilia." The house, at 34-56 107th St., was declared a national landmark in 1977 and a city landmark in 1983.... if you are ever in the area, be sure to stop by and check out the extensive collection of memorabilia at the Queens College Armstrong Archives.
New Orleans jazz loses long time supporter: noted Dixieland jazz drummer and band leader Philip Anthony Zito passed away on August 2nd at the age of 84; in 1935, Phil co-founded the Original Dixieland Jazz Band & Foundation with Nick LaRocca (of ODJB fame); "Phil Zito's New Orleans International City Dixielanders" featured the then "youngsters" Pete Fountain and George Girard (who both went on to form the Basin Street Six in the early 50's); our condolences go out to Phil's family and friends.
Condolences go out to the family and friends of jazz bassist James C. Prevost, who passed away on July 31st at the age of 79; the string bassist performed with many New Orleans artists including Roy Brown, Eddie Bo, Jim Robinson and Kid Thomas; James also played with the Preservation Hall Band from 1970 until the time of his death; his work is featured on the Preservation Hall Band's "Live!" album and Jim Robinson's "Classic New Orleans Jazz, Vol. 2".
Crescent City Roots Program: Satara Publishing's "New Orleans - A History of Contemporary Music" is a five hour radio program written and presented by Dennis Shore, which illustrates how deeply the New Orleans musical influence is woven into the tapestry of 20th century popular music. Not only Dixieland Jazz, but also Rock, Funk, Big Band, Swing, Soul, Gospel, Boogie Woogie, Cool, Cajun, Blues, Zydeco, Rhythm & Blues, Piano, Brass Band, and Bebop.... the half hour sample provided (in RealAudio) mixes narrative and sound - great instant background info & sounds for your web surfing pleasure!
Mahalia Jackson was one of 4 Gospel legends honored by the U.S. Postal Service with commemorative stamps issued in ceremonies held at the Superdome on July 15th (others featured on new stamps are Roberta Martin, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Clara Ward); she joins fellow New Orleans music legends Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton, who were previously honored by the Postal Service; folk music legend Huddie Ledbetter, aka "Leadbelly" (1888-1949), was honored with a commemorative stamp in June.
1998 CMA Awards: LA native Tim McGraw received 4 nominations and Brooks & Dunn earned 3 nods for the 1998 Country Music Association Awards; the CMA's air on CBS on September 23rd.
From Treme to VH1 - clarinetist Doreen Ketchens is featured on VH1's special "Takin' It To The Streets"; check our TV Page for repeat airings of the show.
Chart News - rap artists Kane & Able's recently released CD "Am I My Brother's Keeper" (No Limit Records) debuted at No. 5 in the Billboard 200 chart; Billboard reports that of the 17 rap albums that have debuted this year in The Billboard 200's top 10, six - more than a third of this year's crop - came from No Limit's roster! The streak may continue with Snoop Doggy Dogg's No Limit debut, "Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told", being released on August 4th.
N'Dea N'Da House - R&B vocalist & New Orleans resident N'Dea Davenport, currently in between stints with the Lilith Fair tour, appeared on "The Magic Hour" on 07/28 ... she performed "Underneath A Red Moon", from her self-titled debut solo album; this recommended CD features local musicians, including the Rebirth Brass Band on "Getaway"; the first video from the CD, "Bring It On" (view the video), was recorded on the streets of Treme and the French Quarter on March 25th, and featured ReBirth, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, and several local "second liners".
Condolences go out to the family and friends of local jazz trumpeter Samuel Alcorn, who passed away on July 20th at the age of 61; the son of New Orleans legend, Alvin Alcorn, Sammy's career included work with Fats Domino, Duke Ellington, Jerry Butler, and many others.
Vignettes: Master P is scheduled to rap with Bill Maher and other panelists on ABC's "Politically Incorrect" on August 7th ... Nicholas Payton & Donald Harrison add heat to Concord Jazz Festival (SF Gate) ... Wynton Marsalis appeared on the Dave Letterman show on August 5th ... jazz fans were treated to an all-star line-up including Dave Bartholomew, Lucien Barbarin and Don Vappie at Preservation Hall on Wednesday evening (07/22).
No Limit Records - CEO Master P makes an appearance on Jermaine Dupri's debut CD, "Jermaine Dupri Presents Life In 1472"; several members of the No Limit crew help out on Snoop Doggy Dogg's debut for the label ... Silkk The Shocker is one of many big-name rappers contributing to a forthcoming N.W.A. tribute, tentatively scheduled to be released by Priority Records in October.
New Orleans piano greats Tom McDermott and Henry Butler were recently interviewed on Harry Shearer's "Le Show" radio program (airs on KCRW in Santa Monica) and fortunately the shows are archived in RealAudio.
Lucinda Williams will be in Austin on the 29th to tape a segment for next season's PBS series, Austin City Limits; the 24th season of ACL debuts in February, 1999 ... Lucinda's latest CD, "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road", is receiving rave reviews: "Not only is Car Wheels On A Gravel Road more perfect than the two albums that preceded it .... but it achieves its perfection by being more imperfect" (Rolling Stone); "... the levels of songwriting, playing, and singing here are about as sophisticated as they get in pop music" (Boston Phoenix).
Rounder Records' Scott Billington talks about New Orleans, James Booker, a new Johnny Adams album, and more in a feature article from Boston Phoenix.
"Best of The Beat" Winners Announced - Offbeat Magazine announced the Best of The Beat Award winners for 1997 in the January '98 issue. Congrats go out to all winners and runners-up. Une grande merci to Louisiana Music Archive visitors who selected us as the runner-up (to Offbeat) in the "Best Music Web Site" category; props to Offbeat for their excellent coverage of the local music scene and best wishes to all the folks at "Louisiana's Music Magazine" as they celebrate their 10th Anniversary this year. Last but not least, final thanks to Offbeat and Alex Oliver, who picked the LMA as the "Best Local Music Web Index" in their second annual Best of Web feature!