THE MUSIC OF FATS DOMINO
New Orleans rock 'n' roll legend Fats Domino is the subject of a new DVD "Legends Of New Orleans: The Music of Fats Domino," on Shout! Factory/Song Music Entertainment. Recorded live at the 2001 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, this Michael Murphy-directed DVD finds the true New Orleans legend looking none the worse for wear more than five decades past his first single, "The Fat Man," a 1949 million seller and one of the 20 songs performed on the DVD. Other showstoppers include classic hits like "Walkin' to New Orleans" and "Blueberry Hill." Interspersed are interview clips with fellow Crescent City legend Allen Toussaint, who correctly "can't imagine the whole scene without Fats Domino." Also featured are music critic Mikal Gilmore, who places Domino's achievements in a class with Elvis Presley and the Beatles; Dr. John, who assesses his singular piano style; and famed studio owner Cosimo Matassa, who observes that no one before or since compares with the ageless Fat Man. DVD extras include expanded interview segments, a studio performance by Domino and Toussaint, a Domino discography, and bios and photos of the program's participants.
"Save My Soul," the new album from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, is a love letter to New Orleans.
"I've always loved the music that came from there," bandleader Scotty Morris said, "from Louis Armstrong's early brass band stuff with King Oliver all the way through Fats Domino and up to the Dirty Dozen Marching Band. On our earlier albums I've hinted at how important this music is to me, but this is the first one where I've gone completely full-blast with it."
The inspiration for the album came on a trip to New Orleans.
"We were booked to play a private event there in 2002," Morris said. "Coincidentally, it happened at the same time as Jazz Fest. I went out, saw all these artists play, and suddenly the idea for 'Save My Soul' came to me in a rush. I started writing like crazy. First thing, I went to the piano and came up with this Professor Longhair/Fats Domino groove. When I played it for the band, they loved it. Then I started writing this Louis Armstrong kind of thing, and they dug that too. Suddenly I caught fire, and within a couple of weeks I had pretty much finished everything."
The album comes out July 8 on Big Bad/Vanguard Records.
J A Granelli's Mr Lucky has a new release, "Gigantic," on Love Slave Records scheduled for May 6 and combining elements of blues, "old school" R&B, jazz, country, reggae and funk. Led by versatile bassist, composer, and new music siren J A Granelli, Mr Lucky delivers grooving and introspective playing that covers a wide dynamic range. Granelli, originally from San Francisco but now a fixture on the New York new improvised music scene, also leads his "sinister" ensemble EZ Pour Spout and has performed with the David Tronzo Trio, the Jim Campilongo Trio, Briggan Krauss's Fuzz Fill and the Crunch Trio. He also has recorded and toured with Mose Allison, Canadian turntable whiz Buck 65, Jerry Granelli's Badlands project, and the Buddy Bolden Band featuring John Abercrombie, Anthony Cox, Bill Frisell, and Jane Ira Bloom. Besides Granelli, the Mr Lucky band members include guitarist David Tronzo (known for his work with the Lounge Lizards and John Cale), organist/keyboardist Jamie Saft (John Zorn, Bobby Previte), and drummer Diego Vogliano.
Vendetta Red's major-label debut, "Between the Never and the Now," hits stores June 24, but well before that the band will make its television debut on "Last Call With Carson Daly." The appearance tapes at Las Vegas' The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel May 7 and airs the week of May 12. In between recording "Between the Never and the Now," which was produced by Jerry Finn (Blink-182, Green Day, AFI), the group has been part of the Warped Tour, and toured with the Used, Juliana Theory and Something Corporate, Thursday, Andrew WK, Thrice, Mooney Suzuki, Homegrown, Open Hand, Vaux, A Static Lullaby, The Movielife, and Social Distortion. The band continues to tour and is currently in the United Kingdom with The Movielife. In June the band hits the road again as part of the Warped Tour. Vendetta Red will also perform at a several radio concerts, including Washington D.C.'s WHFS show May 24 and Philadelphia's Y100 FEZtival May 26.
PHOTO AUCTION FOR MUSICIANS CLINIC
A live auction to benefit the New Orleans Musicians Clinic will take place at the opening reception for "The Jazz Lenses: Skip Bolen and Steven Forster -- Photographs of Jazz and Rhythm and Blues Musicians in New Orleans. The auction will take place Saturday at John Stinson Fine Arts Gallery in New Orleans. The exhibition is free and open to the public; the photos will be on view through May 31. Photographs from both Forster and Bolen will be auctioned off live during the opening. Proceeds from the auction and a print will be donated in the name of the high bidder and will be hung on the walls of the clinic.
Bolen's photographs include shots of Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews on trumpet, Dave Brubeck on piano, Roland Guerin on bass, Donald Harrison Jr. on alto sax, Roy Hargrove on flugelhorn, Ellis Marsalis on piano, Jason Marsalis on vibes, Irvin Mayfield on trumpet, Nicholas Payton on flugelhorn and trumpet, vocalist Jimmy Scott, James Singleton on bass, Mark Whitfield on guitar, vocalist Cassandra Wilson, and many more. The exhibit also includes images shot in and around New Orleans and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Forster is a New Orleans native who's been a professional photographer for more than 20 years. His work is in public and private collections, among them the Historic New Orleans Collection, and he has exhibited twice at the New Orleans Museum of Art. He has had more than 8,000 photographs published worldwide and was the last person known to have photographed Ethel Merman.