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Live At Little Gem Saloon: Basin Street Records Celebrates 20 Years

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An All-Star Roster of Basin Street Records Recording Artists gathered together for an outstanding night of music at the Little Gem Saloon. Featuring: Jason Marsalis, Kermit Ruffins, Irvin Mayfield, Bill Summers, Dr. Michael White, and Davell Crawford.

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“What happened when musicians gathered in a New Orleans jazz club on May 5, 2017, to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Basin Street Records? Two stages, an all-star roster of musicians and a live recording distilled in nine gems.” – Michele L. Simms-Burton, Downbeat Magazine

“This disc captures a special evening for a special label” – Tom Henry, Toledo Blade

“Listening to Live At Little Gem Saloon: Basin Street Records Celebrates 20 Years, with Jason Marsalis, Kermit Ruffins, Irvin Mayfield, Bill Summers, Dr. Michael White, and Davell Crawford will have you wanting to book an immediate trip to New Orleans to listen to more great Jazz; it’s that good.” – Debra Argen, Luxury Experience

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Album Description

On May 5, 2017 an all-star roster of Basin Street Records recording artists came together to celebrate the kickoff of BSR’s 20th anniversary at the historic jazz venue, the Little Gem Saloon. The evening included performances on two stages from Jason Marsalis, Kermit Ruffins, Irvin Mayfield, Bill Summers, Dr. Michael White, and Davell Crawford. The entire evening was recorded, and choice selections from each set comprise the album Live at Little Gem Saloon: Basin Street Records Celebrates 20 Years.

Following the progression of the evening, the album opens with the original modern jazz stylings of the drummer-phenom turned vibraphone-master, Jason Marsalis, here performing his original compositions “Bourbon Street Ain’t Mardi Gras” and “At The House in Da Pocket” to a packed room with an electric energy. During Marsalis’s set a “prayer line” formed outside the Poydras street club for those hopeful attendees waiting to get a spot to see the star-studded lineup in the full-capacity club.

The next set features an outstanding double-trumpet duo from two of the biggest trumpet-giants in the city. Kermit Ruffins and Irvin Mayfield joined each other on stage with the backing of Kermit Ruffins’ band, The Barbecue Swingers, for two Kermit-approved standards: the classic “On The Sunny Side of the Street” and the rambunctious and fun “Skokiaan.”

Next on the lineup was to be pianist Henry Butler (who has since passed away; may his soul rest in peace) in a solo performance, but a flight delay made his appearance impossible. What does one do when a featured artist can’t make it to your post-Jazz Fest show? With so many world class musicians in the building at one time, you ask them to do what they do best: improvise. In no time, Basin Street president, Mark Samuels organized an impromptu Basin Street Records super-group featuring Davell Crawford on piano and vocals, Irvin Mayfield on trumpet & percussion, Jason Marsalis on drums, Bill Summers on percussion, Mark Brooks on bass, and Ronald Markham on piano. This group would bring the trio of Irvin Mayfield, Bill Summers, and Jason Marsalis (the founding members of Los Hombres Calientes) together on stage for the first time in over 15 years and give us a sizzling rendition of “Autumn Leaves.”

Continuing the evening was traditional jazz clarinetist, Dr. Michael White, who captivated the audience with his outstanding polish and skill on the immortal “Summertime” and White’s own energetic “Give It Up / Gypsy Second Line” featuring Marsalis again on drums.

Davell Crawford, the “Piano Prince of New Orleans” closed out the night performing his unique brand of Louisiana roots music with his band One Foot in the Blues. Here we hear an R&B rendition of “Big Boss Man” and Crawford’s own emotive medley “Don’t Ever Be Blue / Ode to Louisiana.”

It was an unprecedented evening in New Orleans music. Never before has Basin Street Records released a project featuring all new music from so many different artists. Live at Little Gem Saloon captures the spirit of a truly special evening of live music. For 20 years, Basin Street Records has provided a home for these outstanding artists to flourish, and they gave back in the best way possible with the performances captured on this album.

Liner Notes

Credits

Produced By: Tracey Freeman
Executive Producer: Mark Samuels
Recorded by Mike Dorsey & Ben Lorio
Mixed by Tracey Freeman
Mastered by Jeremy Lubsey at Vlado Meller Mastering
Photography by Erika Goldring
Cover and Digital Booklet Design by Braden Piper
Packaging Design by Diana Thornton – Crescent Music Services
BSR 0718-2
UPC: 652905071823

Personnel

Basin Street Records Recording Artists

Jason Marsalis – Vibraphone on 1, 2; Drums on 5, 6, 7
Kermit Ruffins – Trumpet and Vocals on 3, 4
Irvin Mayfield – Trumpet on 3, 4, 5
Bill Summers – Percussion on 5, 8, 9
Dr. Michael White – Clarinet on 6, 7
Davell Crawford – Piano on 8, 9; Vocals on 5, 8, 9

Featured Artists

Oscar Rossignoli – Piano on 1, 2
Jasen Weaver – Bass on 1, 2
Gerald Watkins – Drums on 1, 2
Yoshitaka ‘Z2’ Tsuji – Piano on 3, 4
Kevin Morris – Bass on 3, 4
Jerry Barbarin Anderson – Drums on 3, 4
Ronald Markham – Piano on 5
Mark Brooks – Bass on 5, 6, 7
Gregory Stafford – Trumpet on 6, 7
Seva Venet – Banjo on 6, 7
Devone Allison – Keyboard on 8
Jameison Ledonio – Guitar on 8
Shelley Spruill II – Bass on 8
LeShawn Lee – Drums on 8

A note from Mark Samuels, Basin Street Records President and Founder:

20 years. Basin Street Records began as a night and weekend hobby in September 1997. We’ve grown to a label with music from 15 artists who represent the very best of New Orleans’ and the world’s music. To kick off our 20th anniversary we asked many of our artists to participate in an event at the Little Gem Saloon during Jazzfest in 2017—on two stages, on two floors in this musically historic and spectacularly renovated building. This album is a taste of that night. Come visit New Orleans and look for our artists in a city near you. We invite you to find us on social media and appreciate you staying in touch.

A note from Nick Bazan, Owner of Little Gem Saloon:

The Basin Street Records 20th Anniversary night at the Little Gem Saloon was the peak of 2017’s Jazz Fest experience. Both stages were filled with the finest musical collaborations I’ve seen, and for all of this to be happening on the block where Jazz was born? That’s Magic.

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