Even though the official release of In A World Of Mallets by Jason Marsalis is not until February 19th, we jumped on it immediately at WEMU. With the panoply of vibes, tubular bells, marimbas and other mallet instruments this recording is like a breath of light, spring air. Perhaps it’s the New Orleans vibe that percolates throughout the songs or the emergence of a new working group in jazz, but this is a welcome addition to the WEMU playlist.
While we made sure to stir up a good musical gumbo of your New Orleans Mardi Gras and Brazilian Carnaval favorites this morning on 89.1 Jazz, it was our pleasure to premiere Smokey Mary by Harry Connick, Jr. Smokey Mary refers to the signature train float in the Orpheus Parade. Twenty years ago Harry founded The Krewe of Orpheus, a racially integrated krewe, which was a radically new development in the New Orleans social clubs
Our latest WEMU discovery is The Hummingbird Brigade, an 11 piece jazz ensemble from Vancouver, British Columbia led by saxophonist/clarinetist/flutist James Danderfer. Danderfer explains the tone of his music as “New Orleans brass band-inspired”. Building on the rich legacy of New Orleans street bands and the new approaches coming from the Crescent City by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Soul Rebels and The Hot 8 Brass Band, Danderfer and his band-mates are adding to the street beat repertoire with well-crafted, highly rhythmic original music. Mardi Gras day is coming up on Tuesday, Feb