Monday, March 05, 2007

More Hot 8

So, there's another blog at Arts Journal that is concerned with New Orleans & music. It's called Listen Good. I only came upon it this morning, by way of the current top post that happens to be partly about the Hot 8 (and mentions a performance of "SJI.") The writer apparently lives in Brooklyn, but is spending some time in New Orleans. As I understand it. He seems to have written about the city and its musical culture in the past.

Anyway, the specific subject of the post is the final installment in a series of weekly gigs that the Hot 8 has been doing with Dr. Michael White. Excerpt:

Hot 8 founding member and tuba player Bennie Pete invited Dr. White if he'd like to begin working with the band for what grew into a series of workshops as well as performances.

"Bennie said, 'I'm tired of playing funk,'" recalled White, "which surprised me."

The informal workshops were a mixture of rehearsals and discussions about musical elements -- repertoire, harmony, dynamics, and so on -- but also about the history, social purpose, and shared values.

"I learned a lot about some things I had been uncertain about in the past," Peete told me in between sets at the café. "Answers to questions I'd never asked before."

But last night, the musicians -- ten strong, including the Hot 8, White, and guest tenor saxophonist John Gilbert (formerly of the Rebirth Brass Band) -- sounded anything but academic. "St. James Infirmary" moved from dirge-like to uptempo, and sweeping the crowd along in its mood shift. ...

I'll be keeping an eye on the site...