“Dee Dee’s Feathers” is a journey through the history of New Orleans as told through song and the collaboration of Dee Dee Bridgewater, Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. It was recorded at New Orleans’ Esplanade Studios, which is housed in a reconverted historical church in the heart of the city that was badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Although steeped in history, the disc is at the same time a modern exploration of the music and culture that make the Big Easy a city and place unlike any other. Traditional songs co-mingle with new compositions, transporting the listener on a sensory voyage through the city, whether dancing in a second line or frequenting a storied bordello in the heart of French Quarter.
“10” commemorates the decade the Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet has been making music in Peru and the United States. Half of its tracks are American standards and the other half Peruvian, a fitting repertoire for a band that divides its time between the two countries. Instruments that typify jazz such as the drum set, double bass, trumpet and saxophone are wedded with Afro-Peruvian ones including the cajon, cajita, and vocal interjections known as guapeo. The acoustic guitar, a familiar instrument in both traditions, knits it all together. It’s a musical experience that finds and articulates the affinities between cultures and traditions of the two lands the band calls home.
Also this week, the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra is joined by legendary trumpeter Doc Severinsen on “Prime Time”; the Jeff Benedict Big Band unveils “Holmes,” featuring original tunes along with fresh arrangements of music by Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker, Joe Zawinul and Sting; and pianist and composer Kait Dunton debuts a fresh, inventive new electro-acoustic ensemble, “trioKait.”