Sunday, February 7, 2010

WYNTON MARSALIS writes a poem about the New Orleans Saints - Pre-Game

The Spirit of New Orleans - by Wynton Marsalis

Down on the Bayou where the mighty Mississippi kisses Lake Pontchartrain and spills into the Gulf of Mexico. There sits that jewel of the Southland. What the French lost to the British who gave it to the Spanish who lost it back to the French who sold it to America for..... Well, some folks say Jefferson conned Napoleon in a card game and won it for some jambalaya and a chicory coffee.

New Orleans, N'Awlins, the Crescent City, the Big Easy, the northern capitol of the Caribbean, Groove City. Man, they have things down there you wouldn't believe. A mythic place of Mardi-Gras and mumbo, voodoo and the moss-covered alligator-spiked pathways of back-country swamp drained and sprinkled with gris-gris dust to house a wild, unruly population. A city with they own cuisine, they own architecture, they own music..streets with names like Dorgenois and Tchoupitoulas.

People in crazy costumes parading talkin 'bout "throw me somethin' mistah", dressed like Indians chanting 'bout, "Madi, Madi-Cudifiyo", sittin in the young twilight on the 'poach' of they camelback shotgun house eatin po' boys bout to 'make' groceries for the crawfish 'burl' they gon' have on 'Sadday'. They sing through horns down there you know. Yeah Padnah! Something called Jazz, started by a cornet man named Bolden. They say Bolden could play so loud the sun was scared to set. Some folks say the air is so thick down here you, can eat it with a spoon.

Drummers drag rhythms in dirgey solemnity down neighborhood streets as horns moan, mock and moo. Man, hot notes echo against the sky with such weight as to be objects. Objects of sorrow so passionately played that the dead begin to cry. Then that trumpet calls and everyone falls in behind the band for a second line parade and those musicians get to hollerin and shoutin and folks get to struttin and steppin and the living let go of the dead and sorrow soon becomes laughter. In New Orleans, we bury our dead above ground.

They always walk amongst us.... but that music. It always ends happy. So when a strong rain brings angry winds howlin' down the Mississippi or up from the Gulf, those misty winds carry the dreams of ghosts, yes, but not just the goblins of Marie Laveau the voodoo queen, or the tortured spirits of the legendary lascivious lovelies of Storyville sporting houses, or even the undead demons of corrupt politicians who have steeled our idealism over three colorful centuries. They also brings the spirits of Saints, of those who have lived here in quiet dignity and sanctified religiosity, of those who have raised kids in the shadow of the St. Louis Cathedral and Sundayed in Jackson Square or of the River Walk lovers holding hands... of many who have fallen in love here, proposed here, honeymooned here. Not just the howling ghouls of the frat-boy drunks on Bourbon street, but they also bring the angels of all who have romanced in and with this beautiful land on the Delta.

Yes, the 'haints become more famous but the Saints endure. Where were you when 85,000 people gathered in the last open seated stadium in professional football to witness John Gilliam run our very first kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown? When Tom Dempsey kicked that 63 yard field goal with half-a-right foot? When Tom Fears, Hank Stram, and Jim Mora prowled the sidelines? Were you there when Howard Stevens, Danny Abromowicz, Rickey Jackson, and Archie Manning donned the black and gold? Ahhh..those New Orleans Saints! Confined to a purgatory of their own making looking for the fast track to hell. Maybe a brand new dome would appease the gods of football---a Superdome.

Fathers bounced kids on their knees while explaining how we would certainly blow our 30 point halftime lead by game's end.....and the Saints did not disappoint. Where you there when the Dome Patrol brought us to the upper chambers of purgatory in search of playoffs, playoffs..playoffs? Yes, 'haints become famous but Saints endure. Just ask Deuce. If 4 years is a long time: (your high school years, your college days, the length of the Civil War..WWII)...then 43 yrs is an eternity. You ever wait for something so long that waiting for it becomes the something? You ever see grown folks put bags over their heads in public, covering up to hide from themselves like an old alcoholic who won't admit? We can't help it. We're with our Saints even when we 'aint. New Orleans people are stubborn and hate to leave home.

Down here, people like to brag about how they handle tragedy. Epochal hurricanes like Betsy and Camille are discussed as if they're people. "Betsy was bad but Camille, 'Lawd Have Mercy', the water was up here to my neck." Nobody brags on Katrina. She swept through here like death on a high horse. Those flood waters seemed to run all the demons, goblins, AND saints away forever. There goes old Jean Lafitte the pirate relocated to Houston, there goes old Jelly Roll Morton off somewhere in Memphis with that diamond still sparklin in his front tooth.

But quick to return is the unbending will and irrepressible spirit, sin-dipped in Tabasco sauce and spiced with file' in possession of an unshakable, unbreakable soul that Louis Armstrong first announced to the entire world through a red hot trumpet, that Danny Barker broadcasted on a burnished banjo, and Sidney Bechet shouted and screamed through a scorching horn said to be a soprano saxophone. And here comes that chastened Noah's arc of a dome rising from ignominy to become again a beacon of community. And, oh yes, they are still down here marching in those funny-named streets blowing history AND the present moment through singing horns. And people still dance with abandon, exuberance, and unbridled human feeling because that music tells 'em "what has been may be what is, but what will be cannot possibly be known."

We live the moment. Laissez les bon temps rouler! --Let the Good Times Roll. I think I hear that trumpet calling the children of the Who Dat Nation home--not Gabriel's or the horns that blew down the walls of Jericho--that jazz trumpet conjuring up the spirit world with a Congo Square drum cadence. Ghosts, goblins, and 'haints aggravate. Saints congregate. I hear them now bringing that 43yr second line to a glorious crescendo. "Who Dat Say What Dat When Us Do Dat?" Its like waiting 43yrs to hear somebody saya 'I Love You' back. And they do. Let the tale be told bout how the black and gold won the Super Bowl.

And those jazzmen still play sad songs but they always end happy.....they always do.


Monday, February 1, 2010


Though the jazz category did not make the main telecast, fans were able to check out pre-show action on the web. This year's winners included a number of musicians who perform regularly at the Blue Note like Kurt Elling, Terence Blanchard and Chick Corea, who will be at the Blue Note as a special guest of Roy Haynes on his 85th Birthday (March 19 - 20) and for two weeks in May in a leading role with trio members Eddie Gomez and Paul Motian in Further Explorations of Bill Evans (May 4-9 and May 11 - 16). Congrats to all the 2010 winners!

Grammy Winners 2010: Jazz

= winner

Field 10 -- Jazz

Category 44

Best Contemporary Jazz Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.)

  • Urbanus
    Stefon Harris & Blackout
    [Concord Jazz]
  • Sounding Point
    Julian Lage
  • At World's Edge
    Philippe Saisse
    [E1 Music]
  • Big Neighborhood
    Mike Stern
    [Heads Up International]
  • 75
    Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate
    [Heads Up International]

Category 45

Best Jazz Vocal Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • No Regrets
    Randy Crawford (& Joe Sample)
    [PRA Records]
  • Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman
    Kurt Elling
    [Concord Jazz]
  • So In Love
    Roberta Gambarini
    [Groovin' High/Emarcy]

  • Tide
    Luciana Souza
  • Desire
    Tierney Sutton (Band)
    [Telarc Jazz]

Category 46

Best Improvised Jazz Solo
(For an instrumental jazz solo performance. Two equal performers on one recording may be eligible as one entry. If the soloist listed appears on a recording billed to another artist, the latter's name is in parenthesis for identification. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Dancin' 4 Chicken
    Terence Blanchard, soloist
    Track from: Watts (Jeff “Tain" Watts)
    [Dark Key Music]
  • All Of You
    Gerald Clayton, soloist
    Track from: Two-Shade
  • Ms. Garvey, Ms. Garvey
    Roy Hargrove, soloist
    Track from: Emergence
    [Groovin' High/Emarcy]

  • On Green Dolphin Street
    Martial Solal, soloist
    Track from: Live At The Village Vanguard
  • Villa Palmeras
    Miguel Zenon, soloist
    Track from: Esta Plena
    [Marsalis Music]

Category 47

Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.)

  • Quartet Live
    Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow & Antonio Sanchez
    [Concord Jazz]
  • Brother To Brother
    Clayton Brothers
  • Five Peace Band -- Live
    Chick Corea & John McLaughlin Five Peace Band
    [Concord Records]
  • Remembrance
    John Patitucci Trio
    [Concord Jazz]
  • The Bright Mississippi
    Allen Toussaint

Category 48

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
(For large jazz ensembles, including big band sounds. Albums must contain 51% or more INSTRUMENTAL tracks.)

  • Legendary
    Bob Florence Limited Edition
    [MAMA Records]
  • Eternal Interlude
    John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble
  • Fun Time
    Sammy Nestico And The SWR Big Band
    [Hnssler Classic]
  • Book One
    New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
    [World Village]
  • Lab 2009
    University Of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band
    [North Texas Jazz]

Category 49

Best Latin Jazz Album

(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Things I Wanted To Do
    Chembo Corniel
    [Chemboro Records]
  • urea
    Geoffrey Keezer
  • Brazilliance X 4
    Claudio Roditi
    [Resonance Records]
  • Juntos Para Siempre
    Bebo Valdes And Chucho Valdes
    [Sony Music/Calle 54]
  • Esta Plena
    Miguel Zenon
    [Marsalis Music]

Category 84

Best Instrumental Composition
(A Composer's Award for an original composition (not an adaptation) first released during the Eligibility Year. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Borat In Syracuse
    Paquito D'Rivera, composer (Paquito D'Rivera Quintet)
    Track from: Jazz-Clazz
    [Timba Records]
  • Counting To Infinity
    Tim Davies, composer (Tim Davies Big Band)
    Track from: Dialmentia
    [Origin Records]
  • Fluffy
    Bob Florence, composer (Bob Florence Limited Edition)
    Track from: Legendary
    [MAMA Records]
  • Ice-Nine
    Steve Wiest, composer (University Of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band)
    Track from: Lab 2009
    [North Texas Jazz]
  • Married Life (From Up)
    Michael Giacchino, composer (Michael Giacchino)
    Track from: Up Soundtrack
    [Walt Disney Records]

Category 85

Best Instrumental Arrangement
(An Arranger's Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Emmanuel
    Jeremy Lubbock, arranger (Chris Botti & Lucia Micarelli)
    Track from: In Boston
  • Hope
    Vince Mendoza, arranger (Jim Beard With Vince Mendoza & The Metropole Orchestra)
    Track from: Revolutions
    [Sunny Side Records]

  • Slings And Arrows
    Vince Mendoza, arranger (Chuck Owen & The Jazz Surge)
    Track from: The Comet's Tail: Performing The Compositions Of Michael Brecker
    [MAMA Records]
  • Up With End Credits (From Up)
    Michael Giacchino, arranger (Michael Giacchino)
    Track from: Up Soundtrack
    [Walt Disney Records]
  • West Side Story Medley
    Bill Cunliffe, arranger (Resonance Big Band)
    Track from: Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute To Oscar Peterson
    [Resonance Records]

Category 86

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
(An Arranger's Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)

  • A Change Is Gonna Come
    David Foster & Jerry Hey, arrangers (Seal)
    Track from: Soul
    [143/Warner Bros.]
  • Dedicated To You
    Laurence Hobgood, arranger (Kurt Elling)
    Track from: Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman
    [Concord Jazz]
  • In The Still Of The Night
    Thomas Zink, arranger (Anne Walsh)
    Track from: Pretty World
    [AtoZink Music]
  • My One And Only Thrill
    Vince Mendoza, arranger (Melody Gardot)
    Track from: My One And Only Thrill
  • Quiet Nights
    Claus Ogerman, arranger (Diana Krall)
    Track from: Quiet Nights

Field 23 Album Notes

Category 89

Best Album Notes

  • The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946)
    Dan Morgenstern, album notes writer (Louis Armstrong)
    [Mosaic Records]
  • Dance-O-Mania: Harry Yerkes And The Dawn Of The Jazz Age, 19191923
    Mark Berresford, album notes writer (The Happy Six)
    [Rivermont Records]
  • Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Music From The Film
    Douglas Brinkley & Johnny Depp, album notes writers (Various Artists)
    [Legacy Recordings]
  • My Dusty Road
    Ed Cray & Bill Nowlin, album notes writers (Woody Guthrie)
  • Origins Of The Red Hot Mama, 19101922
    Lloyd Ecker & Susan Ecker, album notes writers (Sophie Tucker)
    [Archeophone Records]

Category 109

Best Long Form Music Video
(For video album packages consisting of more than one song or track. Award to the Artist and to the Video Director/Producer of at least 51% of the total playing time.)

  • In Boston
    Chris Botti
    Jim Gable, video director; Bobby Colomby, video producer
  • Johnny Cash's America
    (Johnny Cash)
    Robert Gordon & Morgan Neville, video directors; Robert Gordon & Morgan Neville, video producers
  • Anita O'Day The Life Of A Jazz Singer
    (Anita O'Day)
    Robbie Cavolina & Ian McCrudden, video directors; Robbie Cavolina, Melissa Davis & Ian McCrudden, video producers
    [AOD Productions]
  • Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy World Tour Live
    Keith Urban
    Chris Hicky, video director; Blake Morrison, video producer
    [Capitol Nashville]
  • The Beatles Love All Together Now
    (Various Artists)
    Adrian Wills, video director; Martin Bolduc & Jonathan Clyde, video producers