Dr. Michael White – Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 1


“a charm.” – JazzTimes

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Press for Adventures in New Orleans Jazz Part 1

“This is a delightful album, a joyful one for the irrepressible soul . . . White’s enthusiastic articulation and drive, robust tone and faithfulness to the grand New Orleans clarinet tradition make Adventures a charm.” – Owen Cordle, Jazztimes

“It’s masterful in its craft and maturity, a stunning display of restraint, discipline, craft, and pure emotion.” – Roger Hahn, Offbeat Magazine

“Clarinetist Dr. Michael White is an important figure in the traditional jazz revival that has been happening in New Orleans for over two decades. . . he has carved out a position as one of the clearest voices of the new generation with originals that extend the reach of traditional jazz and now, with this recording, interpretations that compel the listener to consider New Orleans jazz outside the confines of the idiom. . . In lesser hands this project could be rife with problems . . . but the project succeeds admirably. . . With clear-eyed respect for those that came before him, White has taken the music another step forward. I look forward to Part 2 of his adventure in New Orleans jazz.” – Jay Mazza, The Vinyl District

“It’s possible to play trad, have fun and stretch boundaries, especially if the doctor’s in the house.” – Jim Beale, Jr., San Antonio Express-News

Album Description

Adventures in New Orleans Jazz Part 1 is an exciting journey of sound which blends traditional jazz with influences and songs from diverse sources like Africa, the Carribean and popular music from the ’60s and ’70s. Fearless takes on Bob Marley’s “One Love” and Paul Simon’s “Take Me to the Mardi Gras” help distinguish Dr. White as a brave talent whose intent is not one to keep alive the spirit of New Orleans’ jazz tradition, but to continually showcase its musical significance through fresh and inventive ways.

Liner Notes

Adventures in New Orleans Jazz is an exciting journey of sound which blends traditional jazz with influences and songs from diverse sources, like Africa, the Caribbean and popular music from the 1960s and 70s. The idea of converting tunes from other genres into the New Orleans jazz language goes back to early pioneers like Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet and Louis Armstrong – who all contributed their own unique variations of the style. The original and traditional songs here are personal expressions of blues, hymns, rags and stomps common in early jazz repertoire. Using popular hit songs of contemporary era artists like Miriam Makeba, Bob Marley and Paul Simon is more adventurous perhaps because that material is rarely even considered in the traditional jazz world. The New Orleans jazz sound is clearly apparent in the use of traditional instruments, improvised ensemble conversations, and driving rhythms. A couple of the songs dig deeply into their influences by featuring musicians from Haiti and West Africa – giving a taste of authenticity almost unheard of in early jazz. The local musicians heard here are all natives and veterans in traditional jazz. Several are descendants of New Orleans musical families that have been active since the first generation of jazz sprouted up over 100 years ago. This musical adventure takes us through a wide range of moods, sounds and emotions to give an interesting and fresh look at the New Orleans jazz tradition.Hopefully it will make you feel good, want to dance and enjoy life. –Michael G. White

Track List

1. West African Strut (5:36)
2. Careless Love (4:50)
3. South African Medley : Pata Pata / The Lion Sleeps Tonight (6:06)
4. Basin Street Blues (5:51)
5. One Love (4:50)
6. House of the Rising Sun (5:36)
7. I’m Gonna Hoodoo to Get Your Love (4:48)
8. Black Stick Rag (2:50)
9. Haitian Celebration : Rara Second Line / Haiti Cherie (7:08)
10. Mpingo Blues (4:07)
11 . His Eye Is On the Sparrow (5:40)
12. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child (3:57)
13. Take Me To The Mardi Gras (6:18)


Dr. Michael White – Clarinet all tracks; percussion: bells & metal sign #9, shaker #3
Steven Pistorius – Piano all tracks except #2, 4, 11 & 12; tambourine #13
Gregory Stafford – Trumpet & Vocal #4
Detroit Brooks – Banjo all tracks except #2 & 8
Lucien Barbarin – Trombone #3, 5, 7, 9, & 13; percussion #1 & 9
Wendell Brunious – Trumpet #1, 5, 7, 10 & 13
Dwayne Burns – Trumpet/Percussion #3 & 13; percussion #9
Thais Clark – Vocal #7
Cynthia Girtley – Piano #2 & 11; vocal #2
Seguenon Kone – Balafone #1
Herman Lebeaux – Drums & Percussion all tracks, except #4, 6 & 12
Kerry Lewis – Bass Violin all tracks, except #12; tuba #13
Godwin Louis – Alto Saxophone & Percussion #9

Thank You

Thanks first to God, the Creator for the gift of jazz and the spirit of New Orleans. Also thank you to all of the musicians, producers, recording engineers and others who worked on this project. Special thanks to Mark Samuels and the Basin Street Records family. Richard Thomas Jazz Mural used courtesy of New Orleans African American Museum.


This CD is dedicated to the memory of my mother and best friend, Mrs. Helen Forcia White (1922-2009).


Produced by Mark Bingham and Dr. Michael White
Executive Producer Mark Samuels
Recorded February 15, 16, 25 and 26, 2011 at Piety Street Recording Studio, 728 Piety Street, New Orleans, LA 70117
Recorded and mixed by Mark Bingham
Recording assistant and Pro Tools engineer Wesley Fontenot.
Mastered by John Fishback
Graphic design and manufacturing by Diana Thornton of Crescent Music Services,
Cover photo by Syndey Byrd,
Jazz Mural by Richard Thomas.



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