The day we visited Tom McDermott's home, the sound of James Booker's "Classified" greeted us. It was a sweet gesture: walking into a man's home to the sound of your radio show's theme music.
McDermott knows how to communicate with a piano.
Blame it on Rio... and ragtime. McDermott has a piano playing style that smacks of sweet melodies, savory harmonies, and spicy Brazilian rhythm. And he serves up all three this hour. Pull up a chair, and enjoy.
What do you hear when Dr. Michael White plays his clarinet?
Can you hear the bayou? The river? The French Quarter? People sitting on their stoops waiting for someone to deliver the news? Penny parties?
That's not a clarinet in the doctor's hands; it's a time machine.
"I listened to Johnny Dodds' recordings. I listened to Sidney Bechet. I listened to George Lewis. I listened to Edmond Hall. I listened to Omer Simeon, Barney Bigard, and so many others. And you listen to that and you say, 'Wow, I would like to capture that feeling.'"
Listen to Gwen Thompkins and Jon Cleary on Music Inside Out.
This week, we bring you that funky gentleman in the Ninth Ward, Jon Cleary, who joins us to talk about his native England, his grandmother, the piano back home, his mother's songwriting chops, and a variety of other loves.
By 1928, Earl Hines was jazz's most revolutionary pianist, for two good reasons. His right hand played lines in bright, clear octaves that could cut through a band. His left hand had a mind of its own. Hines could play fast stride and boogie bass patterns, but then his southpaw would go rogue — it'd seem to step out of the picture altogether, only to slide back just in time.
When John Boutté commits to a song, he tailors it like a suit from Savile Row, breaking down the lyrics then building them back up again to say exactly what he means. If a Paul Simon song conjures the image of early Americans sailing to the New World on the Mayflower ship, Boutté will sing the same song and mention early Americans who sailed on the slave ship Amistad. If Dave Bartholemew writes that the grass looks greener somewhere else, Boutté will sing that the grass is greener right here at home.
We go Inside the Arts for conversation with acclaimed trumpeter, composer and poet Hannibal Lokumbe. The residencies of Lokumbe at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans will be celebrated with a new retrospective exhibit — And Their Voices Cry Freedom Again — and with concerts on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m.
In conjunction with Lokumbe's concerts, the CAC will host two special exhibition preview receptions on March 1 and 2, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
This week on Inside the Arts Diane talks with Tony Award-winning actress and singer Sutton Foster. Then she visits with acclaimed trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe and explores issues on integration with New York Times-bestselling author Tanner Colby.
Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 12:21 pm
One year ago, when I began graduate study in ethnomusicology at UCLA, I found myself undergoing what has become a familiar ritual. As I played my trombone in a near-empty classroom accompanied by a play-a-long recording, it occurred to me that I was in the midst of my sixth college big band audition. A professor — in this special case, guitar legend Kenny Burrell — led the proceedings. When he engulfed my hand in his massive grip, I learned that I was in.