JAZZ FEST | 04.26 - 05.06 | NEW ORLEANS

Words by: Kayceman


05.06.07 :: TIPITINA'S

Dumpstaphunk :: 05.06 by Robert Chapman
There was no better way to close out JazzFest 2007 than with Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk at Tipitina's. With George Porter Jr., Leo Nocentelli and Art "Poppa Funk" Neville joining Big Sam on trombone, Theresa Andersson, June Yamagishi and more, this was a sweaty New Orleans Dumpsta- Meters throwdown! Ivan was bouncing from keys to guitar leading his band through a deep, dirty evening of true NOLA funk. At times Porter was deep in the pocket, and at other high moments we found him out front manipulating bass lines and pushing his tone deep under water. Nocentelli took several inspired solos featuring his incredible, lighting- fast finger work that would consistently lead the crowd into screams of madness. Pushing the evening to a peak was Sly & the Family Stone's "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" that eventually gave way to a nasty rendition of "Cissy Strut."

DR. JOHN :: 05.05.07

Dr. John the Night Tripper
If there was one late night show to see during the second weekend of JazzFest it had to be Dr. John's Night Tripper gig. Dr. John carries the NOLA torch like none-other, you could say he is New Orleans; and when he resurrects the Night Tripper in his city, you don't even think about it, you get there! Standing backstage as Dr. John made his way out of the dressing room I looked deep in his eyes and saw a man who was a hundred years and million miles away. Followed by a massive entourage, Dr. John was dressed in wild headgear, animal furs and carried a bucket of pixie dust that he sprinkled out over the crowd. Backed by a nine piece band and featuring two female dancers, his Night Tripper set was exactly that, a fuckin' trip. Languid, drugged-out rhythms created a foundation for Dr. John to move across his piano. When not crushing the keys the good Doctor took center stage on his guitar for a particularly tripped out "Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya" that cast a spell over the CAC. The music of the Night Tripper sounded like New Orleans feels: hot, heavy, patient, slow and filled with a voodoo, mojo magic that there are no words for.

05.05.07 :: THE SATURN BAR

Rotary Downs:: 05.05 by SuperDee
There is a new sound emerging from the rebirth of New Orleans. There's an element of that classic NOLA brass in this new sound, but these ain't no jazzy brass bands. Two groups that are leading the rock & roll NOLA revolution are Rotary Downs and The Other Planets. Both of these young acts came together for an insane night of rock at The Saturn Bar. Rotary Downs began with a two hour set that lit the bar on fire. Featuring JamBase photographer Zack Smith on drums (see his pics from JazzFest throughout JamBase's coverage), RD played several new songs and just about every track from their incredible 2006 release Chained To The Chariot. If Pavement and Beck had some sort of love baby and raised him in New Orleans after Katrina, this is what it would sound like. There's a massive buzz building behind Rotary Downs, and if their shows Saturday at the Fairgrounds and Saturday night at The Saturn Bar are any indication, the world will soon find out what the new New Orleans sounds like.

Rotary Downs drummer Zack Smith by Tamara Grayson
Fairgrounds :: 05.05
After Rotary Downs worked the crowd into a sweaty lather, The Other Planets blasted every soul into space. Heavily inspired by Frank Zappa (and even covering Zappa), this was some of finest weird rock I've ever seen. With incredibly tight compositions and inspired improvisations this was a shockingly good set. The band features percussionist/vocalist/keyboardist/composer Anthony Cucciaan sharing frontman duties with the captivating bass and baritone saxophonist Dan "Diesel" Oestreicher along with insane drummer Quin Kirchner, bassist Joe Butts, vibraphonist Matt McClimon, and an older guitar guru, Dr. Jimbo Walsh who is a music professor at University of New Orleans. As delirious fans hung from the rafters of the two-stage bar the band pushed the limits of rock well past 4 a.m.

WEEN :: 05.04.07

Ween :: 05.04
For those who like to get dirty with their JazzFest late night excursions, Ween at the Contemporary Arts Center was certainly the place to be. Opening with "Take Me Away" and busting out an early "Spinal Meningitis," thing were loud and lewd from the get go. There is definitely a shtick factor with Ween, some love it, some don't; but when Dean Ween, (aka Michael "Mickey" Melchiondo) lays into his guitar as he did on the extended version of "Voodoo Lady" it's damn difficult to deny the Ween fire. Other highlights included "The Mollusk," "Pandy Fackler," "Touch My Tooter," and of course the party anthem "Bananas and Blow." Before the set was over there would be beer cups thrown, ankles hurt (one girl was carried out with a broken limb), soar throats, dilated eyes and even one very enthusiastic young lady who decided to rub her bare breasts against a member of our posse. Only at a Ween show.

MMW :: 05.03.07 :: HOWLIN' WOLF

Greyboy Allstars - River Boat :: 05.04 by Casey Flanigan
It wasn't easy, but after massive amounts of rain and hours-upon-hours of delays, the plane touched down at New Orleans' Louis Armstrong International Airport. Haggard from travel, it didn't help our moods that Medeski Martin & Wood was already underway by the time we got to the hotel.

One wash of John Medeski's freaked-out keyboard reminded me to put my travel woes behind me - you don't fight the currents, you roll with them. If you aren't happy in New Orleans during JazzFest you better get to a doctor.

The Radiators - Snafu Party :: 05.03 by Michael Jurick
MMW has many faces. There's the avant jazz trio, the experimental noise combo and the groove-heavy dance machine that can go toe-to-toe with any band in the land. Thursday night at the Howlin' Wolf we got a taste of each, though it was the second set with heaps of DJ Logic and selections off Shackman that had the people moving.

Slower sections found drummer Billy Martin squeaking away on his toys and bassist Chris Wood plunking around on his bass, but when they dug in and kicked out the dance beats the hungry fans let loose. With Martin and Wood laying down the dirty, deep foundation and Logic trading licks with Medeski, it's hard to keep still. By the time they were done there wasn't a dry shirt in the building. Many more JazzFest 2007 images from Adam McCullough available HERE.

Continue reading for first weekend coverage...

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