Skip to main content

NEW ORLEANS NIGHTS with ALLEN TOUSSAINT - November, 2010

In the interest of full disclosure, be it known that my wife Cathey's mother's family were natives of New Orleans, that Cathey was born in New Orleans, and that I have visited the Crescent City on multiple occasions since the early 1970s. So while I'm a Yankee through and through, I have great appreciation for the music and the culture of that fair city. That's why Cathey and I were so excited when we learned that the Zoellner Center for the Performing Arts in Bethlehem announced 'New Orleans Nights with Allen Toussaint'. We immediately bought a pair of tickets.

I am obliged to say that the show was a disappointment.

Toussaint didn't arrive on stage until after the intermission. The Joe Krown Trio began the show - from New Orleans, true, but with a Hammond B-3 as the centerpiece, never a true New Orleans jazz instrument. It's also true that Wolfman Washington is a dynamite guitar player. But the blues tunes on which he was featured were just that, blues tunes that had no particular New Orleans flavor to them.

After three or four numbers, trumpeter Nicholas Payton joined the band. The three or four tunes that he fronted were straight ahead jazz, again without particular New Orleans flavor.

Allen Toussaint's set was about half and half. The tunes that came from the heart of New Orleans were spell-binding, including a lengthy bit of solo noodling on the piano and a touchingly sentimental duet with Payton.

Don't get me wrong, to the uninitiated the show was an unmitigated success. But it was not a show that presented the music of New Orleans. As Cathey put it, "It was a show for Yankees." And while the Yankees in attendance seemed perfectly satisfied, THIS Yankee felt it necessary to point out its deficiencies.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…

SOLO WALK TO LES FARGOUSSIERES: RESISTANCE!

I enjoy walking in groups but I also enjoy walking by myself. Setting my own pace. Trying new paths. Getting lost. The sorts of things that you can't do in a group, especially when you are in the lead. So when no one took up my offer to lead a walk the other day, I wasn't disappointed. All spring long, I'd been wanting to see what a walk to Le Fargoussieres would be like. I particularly wanted to check out a memorial to the French resistance that I'd visited a year or so ago on a walk sponsored by the local historical society.

I began on the path to the Croix de Juillet, a walk that our group has taken a time or two in the past. Then I broke off, took the paved road to the hamlet of Les Fargoussieres, visited the memorial, then found me way back to the return path of the Croix de Juillet walk. It all worked well. With the help of my GPS mapper, I didn't get lost. But the route was a few of kilometers longer that I thought that it would be. Shade was scarce as the …