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Dr. Michael White – Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 2

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“…rendered with what is clearly a deep love for the New Orleans tradition of ensemble improvisation, an extraordinarily high level of musicianship, and a highly infectious feeling of joy and enthusiasm.” – Roger Hahn for Offbeat

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Press for Adventures in New Orleans Jazz Part 2

“…rendered with what is clearly a deep love for the New Orleans tradition of ensemble improvisation, an extraordinarily high level of musicianship, and a highly infectious feeling of joy and enthusiasm.” – Roger Hahn for Offbeat

“Clarinetist Dr. Michael White has one of the real rich tones, making these tributes to the music of the Crescent City a pleasure to behold. . . This mix of the sacred and secular is the true heart of New Orleans, and Dr. White perfectly filled the prescription.” – George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

“The way Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band continue to play and evolve New Orleans Jazz is a great thing for the listeners today.” – Fred Kasten, WWNO

“Clarinetist Dr. Michael White’s second installment in a project designed to freshen traditional New Orleans material with newer tunes done in that same style has a certain charm; it certainly goes down easy.” – Carlo Wolff, Jazztimes

“For “Part 2,” White, and most of the “Part 1” troupe, sticks closer to the New Orleans canon, playing strong, thoughtful and beautifully arranged takes . . . Here’s hoping White keeps the adventures coming.” – Jim Beale Jr., San Antonio Express-News

“Dr. Michael White is a something of a professional historian when it comes to jazz. With perfect clarity and tune in his clarinet playing, he resurrects and revitalizes the traditional sounds of New Orleans jazz that first arose in the early part of the 20th century.” – Sarah Zupko, Popmatters

“The veteran jazz artist and clarinetist chisels through the deep south of Kristofferson’s 1969 classic, restoring a timeless art in the bass and melody” – Angela Gleason, Trendland

“I loved the concept and execution of the first one and this sounds even better.” – Bill Ross, whereyat.wordpress.com

Album Description

A propelling force of classic New Orleans jazz, the unique experiences that the clarinetist had throughout his career paired with his ability to articulate the significance and timelessness of the music has made him a highly influential voice. Opening the record is “Jambalaya” which was a #1 country music hit when recorded by the famous singer Hank Williams. “The song’s catchy melody makes it perfectly suited to be a traditional jazz instrumental.” White explains. “Midnight Special” is the title track of the 1970s television popular music show and hit recording for the rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival. Original track “Eternally Blue” is a lush and soulful composition held together by bouncing piano whileJanis Joplin’s 1970 hit “Me And Bobby McGee” swings perfectly as an instrumental for both small jazz band and brass band “second line” interpretations. Also in a fresh brass band vein is the rock group The Turtles’ classic 1969 hit “Happy Together.”

In addition to receiving the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship Award, White was named Louisiana Humanist of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and he also won the Offbeat Magazine Best of the Beat Award as Clarinetist of the Year, and Gambit Magazine’s Big Easy Entertainment Award forTraditional Jazz Artist of the Year. He has also performed on recent records by Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Wynton Marsalis and Marianne Faithfull, and recently joined Herbie Hancock and others to perform in a special International Jazz Day concert. Join Dr. Michael White on an “adventure” as he explores and creates ensemble pieces from classic favorites.

Liner Notes

Artist Note

This second Adventures in New Orleans Jazz recording remains much closer to its roots than the internationally spiced first part. None the less, we still manage to include a few surprise departures from the standard traditional jazz repertoire as well as giving our own  fresh take on several long standing favorites.  In addition to more familiar songs like Panama, St. James Infirmary, Tiger Rag, Petite Fleur and Second Line, there are two original songs here.  I Love You Too Much To Ever Leave You is a vocal tune in the vein of the old dance hall band tradition that dates back to the early days of jazz.  Eternally Blue is influenced by the long-standing practice of  clarinet blues pieces.

Among the more “adventurous” offerings here are several songs that at some point have been well known in the popular music world.  Here these songs are converted to the New Orleans Jazz style – with its characteristic instrumentation, rousing rhythms and improvised ensemble playing. Jambalaya, became a big #1 country music hit when recorded in 1952 by its credited composer,  the famous singer Hank Williams. The song’s catchy melody and structure make perfectly suited to be a traditional jazz instrumental.  Many may remember the song Midnight Special as the title track of the 1970s television popular music show and as a hit recording for the rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival.  Midnight Special was an old prisoners song popular in folk music circles since the early 20th century and popularized by legendary singer/guitarist Leadbelly with his first recording of it in 1934.

Rock singer Janis Joplin’s biggest hit, Me and Bobby Mc Gee has previously been unheard of as a traditional jazz song, but the small band and brass band versions here show that the song is well suited as an instrumental in a club, dance hall or in a second line parade. Also in a fresh brass band vein is the rock group the Turtles’  classic  1969 hit Happy Together.  Modern jazz organ master Dr. Lonnie

Smith’s recent composition And The World Weeps, is a haunting dirge that becomes a well suited vehicle for New Orleans style individual and collective expression.

Whether well known standards, new compositions or material from other musical styles, we are committed to the cause of continuing to bring the special sound and spirit of authentic traditional New Orleans jazz with our own unique style and approach in the tradition of our ancestors – paying homage to both what they did and what they would have wanted us to do.  Please sit back and enjoy the music!

– Dr.Michael White

Track List

  1. Jambalaya (4:20)
  2. Midnight Special (4:06)
  3. I Love You Too Much To Ever Leave You (3:02)
  4. Petite Fleur (3:45)
  5. Panama (7:10)
  6. St. James Infirmary (4:15)
  7. Me And Bobby McGee (4:30)
  8. And The World Weeps (9:03)
  9. Tiger Rag (6:07)
  10. Precious Lord (2:55)
  11. Eternally Blue (4:40)
  12. Happy Together (5:13)
  13. Second Line (4:28)

Personnel

Dr. Michael White: clarinet all tracks

Gregory Stafford: trumpet #5, 9 and 13; vocal: #3 and 9

Wendell Brunious: trumpet #3 and 7

Leon”Kid Chocolate” Brown: trumpet: #8 and 12; kazoo #2

Dwayne Burns: trumpet #1

Lucien Barbarin: trombone #1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13

Detroit Brooks: banjo all tracks

Steve Pistorius: piano# 1,3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13

Cynthia Girtley: piano and vocal # 6 and 10

Kerry Lewis:  bass all tracks, except 9 and 10; tuba #7 and 12

Roland Guerin:  bass #9

Herman Lebeaux: drums  # 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 and 13

Shannon Powell: drums  #9

Walter Harris: drums # 2, 8, 11 and 12

Thank You

Thanks to the Creator for the gift of jazz and the spirit of New Orleans culture.

Also thanks to all of the musicians, producers, engineers and everyone who worked on this project.  Richard Thomas mural used courtesy of New Orleans African American Museum.  A special thanks to all of our fans and supporters.  We love you!

Credits

Produced by Mark Bingham and Michael White

Executive Producer: Mark Samuels

Recorded between February 15-26, 2011 and February 29, 2012.  (Tiger Rag

Recorded February 2008) at Piety Street Recording Studio, 728 Piety Street, New Orleans, LA 70117

Recorded by Wesley Fontenot, Nick Guttman and Mark Bingham. Mixed by Mark Bingham.

Mastered by Paul Marinaro

Graphic design and manufacturing by Diana Thornton of Crescent Music Services, www.crescentmusic.com

Cover photo by Syndey Byrd, SyndeyByrd@att.net

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