Jason Berry, Jonathan Foose, Tad Jones
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The inside story of New Orleans music from the rise of rhythm & blues through the post-Hurricane Katrina resurrection.
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The history of New Orleans in the wrenching aftermath of Hurricane Katrina can be telegraphed in one sentence. Politics failed, culture prevailed . . . .
Music is the memory of New Orleans. For all of the corruption, poverty and violence, the music is elemental, a gorgeous collective chorus to the best instincts of the human experiment. We know that “The City Where Jazz Began” lives on borrowed time, facing huge environmental odds in the age of climate change, a city that could be buried by one titanic flood or crippled by some long-running mayor or governor. Floods and epic storms are in our past and in our future; yet for close to three centuries the city as a human essence has prevailed. The world can be an unforgiving place, yet this maddening, charm-dripping, tragicomic town at the bottom of America registers a life force, like the Mardi Gras Indian, that won’t bow down. There is abiding comfort in the words of Harold Battiste, a guiding force of the heritage jazz that came out of the little clubs in the 1950s near the Magnolia Street housing project: “New Orleans, the city, has always been the focus. Musicians come and go, and their creations always seem directed at the city. Because after all is said and done, New Orleans is the star.”
Jason Berry’s books include landmark investigations of the Catholic Church crisis, "Lead Us Not into Temptation" and "Vows of Silence." His film based on the latter book won 2008 Best TV Documentary at Mexico City’s Docs D.F. Festival. He is the author of a novel, Last of the Red Hot Poppas, and a play, Earl Long in Purgatory, which won a Big Easy Award. He has received Guggenheim and Alicia Patterson Fellowships, and was an LEH Humanist of the Year. He writes the music column for New Orleans Magazine.
Jonathan Foose, a native Mississippian and longtime resident of Austin, Texas, has been instrumental in music production, song writing, and performance in the areas of jazz and blues. He also continues oral history exploration, and writing for journals and magazines. Foose is currently involved in the application of new technologies for archival preservation of aging sound recordings.
Tad Jones was an author, noted researcher and preservationist deeply involved in music history work. He worked as an instructor at University of New Orleans and had a long affiliation at William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive, Tulane University. He conducted many interviews for the New Orleans Jazz Historical Park Collection, was a program coordinator for Satchmo SummerFest, and a consultant on several documentaries. He was working on a book about Louis Armstrong’s years in New Orleans at the time of his death in 2007.
. . . a classic study of New Orleans music.
One of the great books about New Orleans music . . . . a must on any New Orleans bookshelf.
~New Orleans Times-Picayune
. . . makes you want to clap along to the music.
~New York Times Book Review
. . . as much a history of New Orleans
as a history of that city’s music.
Living scholarship . . . . The authors have vividly and richly intertwined the nature and history of the neighborhoods, the musical families, the clubs and bars and all the rest—unto the Mardi Gras Indian tribes . . . . I could hear what was being said and I could almost hear the music.
Book Publisher: University of Lousiana Press
No. of Pages: 374
Illustrations (B&W): 100