New Orleans trombonist Jeff Albert writing on his blog, Scratch My Brain, offers a fascinating look at Jazz Fest through the eyes of a musician. Here’s what a 24-hour stretch looks like to the man on horn:
Later Thursday night, I played with George Porter Jr. and Runnin Pardners at Southport Hall. We did a bunch of stuff from the new CD, and it was lots of fun. George said he feels like this is his best CD yet, and I am proud to have been a small part of it.
I was at the Fairgrounds most of the day Friday. First thing I heard was a little bit of the Xavier University Jazz Band. I teach trombone at Xavier, and it was nice to hear the band sounding so good. Next stop was the Jazz Tent for the Rob Wagner Trio. The sound was very good, due in part to Rob (or maybe Ben) being smart enough to bring their own sound guy (Mark Bingham in this case). The poor fest engineers have a lot asked of them and most of them do a good job, but nothing beats having an engineer that is good AND really knows you and your music. Rob’s set was very good. I dig his melodic sense in that setting.
From there I headed over to the Acura Stage to perform with George Porter. It is quite a view from the stage to look up and not be able to see the end of the people. I had a blast playing with George (I always do). We had the every member of the pool horn section on the gig with Tracy Griffin, Alonzo Bowens, Brian Graber, Mark Mullins and me. I spent many a night in college listening to this band with those guys playing in the horn section, so it is a real honor, and a little bit of a trip, to now be a part of that band.
The rest of Friday included hearing parts of sets from Dr. John (which was fabulous), Astral Project, the James Carter Organ Trio, and Bonerama. It was all good. Friday night I played with Luther Kent and Trickbag and got some hard blowing blues added to the weekend’s musical mix.
Albert leads the Jeff Albert Quintet and co-leads the Lucky 7s. Lucky 7s have made several tracks off their new release, Farragut, available for download. In addition, Albert offers live mp3s from his site and shares them via a Creative Commons license. I’m impressed with this man’s talent and generosity.
Here’s a live track, “Flyswatter,” from 9/6/06 at Elastic in Chicago.