''Punch to the gut like you wouldn't believe'' New Orleans as Pandemic struck hard in the birthplace of jazz

Vivid and compelling Our World series BBC short form documentary New Orleans: The Year the Music Stopped produced by Emma Supple, on the New Orleans turned upside down not long after last year's Mardi Gras when the Pandemic devastated the city and …

Published: 29 Jan 2021. Updated: 38 days.

Vivid and compelling Our World series BBC short form documentary New Orleans: The Year the Music Stopped produced by Emma Supple, on the New Orleans turned upside down not long after last year's Mardi Gras when the Pandemic devastated the city and the reality of its ''cultural genocide'' dawned on New Orleanians, is a must-watch.

Footage from Zulu Krewe and more, interviewees who include musician and restaurant owner Sophie Lee pictured of the Three Muses on Frenchmen Street, Louisiana state senator Troy Carter of the Zulu Krewe and trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, who himself contracted Covid as well as did his late father pianist Ellis Marsalis, give vivid accounts of what happened next once the disaster unfolded. As Senator Carter says: ''As real as it was to see the news and read the newspaper and hear people, when you started hearing about people that you know, your personal friends, it was a punch to the gut like you wouldn't believe.'' Click: to view

Tags: Reviews

Playlisty for me

Playlists. Forget the crazed stalker for a moment in the classic 1970s movie Play Misty for Me who determinedly rings up credible DJ Dave to request 'Misty' and then shall we say gets a bit personal. Concentrate instead on listening to Erroll …

Published: 29 Jan 2021. Updated: 38 days.

Next post

Playlists. Forget the crazed stalker for a moment in the classic 1970s movie Play Misty for Me who determinedly rings up credible DJ Dave to request 'Misty' and then shall we say gets a bit personal. Concentrate instead on listening to Erroll Garner. As ever with marlbank everything begins by listening to jazz, properly immersing ourselves in it whether past or present, and experiencing it as food for our imaginations and inner lives.

Topic under discussion, and a big good moaning to you too, it seems to be increasingly pointless looking or passively allowing ourselves to ''be influenced'' by the state of jazz Spotify playlist because the list bears an uncanny resemblance to major label marketing. State of jazz it ain't in other words. How coincidental the algorithm is that comes up with a good quantity of what the big labels are putting out on a regular basis. Apple's equivalent list is a little less predictable however it is still dominated by big labels who market the lists to the max.

As jazz fans we make our choices: so a big tech/corporate recordbiz menu of releases served on a platter every Thursday on the one hand or on the other the absurdities of what's selling in the charts published weekly via Billboard or the Official UK sales chart.

There's a third way preferring neither where we are all more in control. That way is to rely not at all on playlist/sales. Other filters are available. Otherwise we are all just some sort of happy-go-lucky brandfan cheered to see big brands somehow in our wildest dreams be us with our very willing, teetering on complicit even, support. Playlist picking is more like a big compromise and blanding out. Somehow jazz becomes generic in quantity even when there is so much individuality at play. Compilation albums with artists bunched together are the same. Various artists often bear little relation to one another even if considered in the same bracket.

Jazz fans aren't mugs. In fact we are some of the choosiest people around. Choosy because we all actually take the trouble to know what we want. That's good. We ain't looking for aural wallpaper or to be stooges for musizbiz accountants and the whims of the IT department. That's why if an indie jazz label actually comes up with a decent record it is so much more satisfying. We know that we haven't been sold because no one is hard selling at us. It's just us naked, the night, and the music. (Naked Jazz: the night, a new label marketing Jamie Oliver fans, urgent memo to tha man.) And that is why monster companies create boutique labels or buy up parked historic labels to appear to be the little guys.

Going with the herd is what we all do when we switch our brains off. With sales charts we all know it's just what's selling. Tech generated suggestions are far more subliminal. Don't get me wrong we can go yet another way, a fourth direction and just pick up on what the critics are championing. That has its issues however because often critics just go for avant garde records and cannot see any other micro-genre for its good points. Although often we are in the end right but sometimes loiter out of kilter with the reality of what is chiming with fans' current tastes. And yet sometimes we are wrong, losing a hold of ourselves over some reimagined solo bass record reverbing around the often unfairly maligned hits of Max Bygraves delivered with a certain panache. On the eve of another big weekend of jazz listening beginning with all the new releases and reissues to pick from step into the State of the Branded Exercise playlist domain warily.

Dave Garver (Clint Eastwood) in 1971 film Play Misty For Me, top, nothing's on auto