Here are the Best CD releases of 2009, handpicked by WWOZ show hosts. Many of the discs are by local New Orleans artists, while others are from national and international acts, and all of them make great gifts for yourself or loved ones.
Tudo Bem (Brazilian), Saturday 2-4pm
World Journey, Saturday 4-6pm
Carlos Careqa - Tudo Que Respira Quer Comer
Clara Moreno - Miss Balanço
Eliane Elias - Bossa Nova Stories
Marcio Local - Don Day Don Dre Don Don
Mart'nália - Minha Cara
Milton Nascimento & Jobim Trio - Novas Bossas
Rosalia de Souza - D'Improvviso
Teresa Cristina, Jussara Silveira & Rita Ribeiro - Três Meninas do Brasil
Buika & Chucho Valdés - El Último Trago
MadreDeus & A Banda Cósmica - A Nova Aurora
Rua da Saudade - Canções de Ary dos Santos
Tereza Salgueiro & Lusitânia Ensemble - Tereza Salgueiro & Lusitânia Ensemble
New Orleans Music Show, Wednesday 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
New Orleans All the Way Live, Saturday 7-8 a.m.
Luther Kent - The Bobby Bland Songbook
A pleasant surprise of beautiful, soulful singing with the orchestrations of Wardell Quezergue to boot. Luther's story is worth checking into — blue-eyed soul at its finest.
Garage à Trois - Power Patriot
Don't leave this CD alone with anyone who's afraid of change, calico cats, or the big bad wolf.
Barbara Lynn - Here Is Barbara Lynn (re-issue)
This woman's singing and guitar work could charm snakes into doing your garden chores.
Neighborhood Story Project: 4 New Books
Not a CD, but a glance into the very heart of New Orleans nonetheless. These books, along with any of the prior releases are worth their weight in gold (eat your heart out, Glenn Beck). More info at www.neighborhoodstoryproject.org.
Kitchen Sink, Tuesday 10 p.m. - midnight
Jazz Lunatique, Thursday 12-3 a.m.
Vijay Iyer - Historicity
Terence Blanchard - Choices
Fred Anderson - 80th Birthday Live At the Velvet Lounge
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation, and Flow
Alex McMurray - How To Be a Cannonball
Todd Snider - The Excitement Plan
Fast and Bulbous - Waxed Oop
Shane Theriot - Dirty Power
Steve Gardner/Washboard Chaz/Jake Leg Stompers - Walkin' the Dog
Allen Toussaint - Bright Mississippi
Ramblin' Jack Elliot - A Stranger Here
New Orleans Music Show, Tuesday 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Jazz Roots, Wednesday 9 - 11 a.m.
My top 11 CDs by 2009 New Orleans artists listed alphabetically.
Jimmy Carpenter - Toiling in Obscurity
Topsy Chapman - 3 in 1
Luther Kent - Bobby Bland Songbook
Los Po-Boy-Citos - New Orleans Latin Soul
Ingrid Lucia - St. Valentine's Day Massacre
Tom McDermott - New Orleans Duets
New Orleans Nightcrawlers - Slither Slice
Palmetto Bug Stompers - Live @ d.b.a.
Vic Shepherd - Crescent City Serenade
Allen Toussaint - Bright Mississippi (Nonesuch)
Luke Winslow-King - Old/New Baby (Fox On a Hill)
Jazz from the Market with Charles Burchell
It's always hard to do this; I omitted just as many as I included. If you felt that I missed something, you're probably right. Anyway, here goes:
Donald Harrison-The Chosen (Nagel Heyer)
Terence Blanchard-Choices (Blue Note)
Jackie Ryan-Doozy (Open Art Productions)
Stefon Harris & Blackout-Urbanus (Concord Music Group)
Gerald Wilson Orchestra-Detroit (Mack Avenue)
Roy Hargrove Big Band-Emergence (Groovin' High)
Jesse Boyd-True Stories (Contrabass)
Clayton Brothers-Brother To Brother (Artist Share)
Dr. Lonnie Smith-Rise Up! (Palmetto)
Louis Hayes-The Timekeeper (18th & Vine)
James Moody-4A (IPO Recording)
Joe Lovano US Five-Folk Art (Blue Note)
Robert Glasper-Double Booked (Blue Note)
Jeremy Davenport-We'll Dance 'Til Dawn (Basin Street)
New Orleans Music Show with Black Mold or Bill DeTurk
Unlike some of my fellow DJs, I patiently waited until the year was OVER so I could include those CDs that didn't materialize until late December. Some of these CDs I haven't even played on the air yet. Disclaimer: Inclusion on, or exclusion from this list may, or may not be attributed to excessive use of drugs, alcohol, or the DEVIL. So here they are, locals and far-away-ers, in no particular order...
Little Joe Washington – Texas Fire Line – A fixture on the Houston blues scene in the 50's, homeless in the 70's, and on yer CD player in the 00's. His angst and desperation pour out past his last three teeth (but who needs teeth to sing the bluz?)
John Boutte – with Doug Cox/ Salil Bhatt – Slide to Freedom 2 – John Boutte's soulful voice coupled with some Indian instrument with a whole lotta strings and some slide guitar. Plus they cover an Earl King song. And do 'Amazing Grace'.
Michael Juan Nunez – The American Electric – the Erath, LA quintuple threat – he writes the songs, he sings, he play guitar, he produces the CD, and he tap dances (just kidding about the tap dancing part). The guy does it all, and it all ROCKS.
James McMurtry – Live in Europe, Disc 1 (Don't ask me about Disc 2 – it didn't make it to the 'OZ library) Yer basic live CD, which translates into 'Greatest Hitz'. I love this guy, he's the poet laureate of the underbelly of Middle America (Yeah, his dad's the famous author). And although it's not on this CD, if you want the definitive song about the Crystal Meth trade along the Texas/Oklahoma state line, get his song 'Choctaw Bingo'. Play it for yer in-laws, it'll make quite an impression.
M for Mississippi – the soundtrack to the “Winner of the 2009 Blues Music Award for DVD of the Year”. Great raw jukin' bluz by a bunch of people you & I never heard of. It'll make you wanna get in a good bar fight. Google it, or call Andrew Grafe (Mondays 2 – 4 pm).
Note to local musicians: If you wanna get some airplay on 'OZ, don't just drop off a SINGLE CD to the station. Those are the CDs that fall into the Black Hole and are never heard from again. You gotta bring a WHOLE LOTTA CDs to the station and put one in the mailbox of every DJ who you even THINK will play your stuff. Don't be cheap! (Mr. Toussaint, you're never gonna get anywhere in the music biz if you don't heed my advice. I'm just sayin'...)
Kitchen Sink 10 to 12 with A.J. Rodrigue and A.A.
Wednesday 10pm-Thursday 12am
Alex McMurray - How to Be a Cannonball
Clint Maedgan – Open Restraints
Preservation Hall Jazz Band – New Orleans Preservation Vol. 1
Allen Toussaint - Bright Mississippi
Hart McNee – Bywater Blues
Bob Dylan – Together Through Life
Tom Waits - Glitter and Doom Live
Booker T w/Drive by Truckers and Neil Young – Potato Hole
Lil’ Band O’ Gold – Music From The film The Promised Land
Pine Leaf Boys – Homage Au Passe
Odoms – Let Me Atom
Forgotten Souls Bras Band – Big Chief / Indian Red (45)
Los Po-boy Citos – Brand New Dance / Trinidad (45)
Guitar Lightnin’ Lee and his Thunder Band featuring Antoine Domino III – Call up the Band
Cale Pellick – In the Loop
2009 Top Reissue
It appears that Hepcat Records has the Black Top Catalog and is starting to rerelease some of the great recordings of Hammond and Nauman Scott! I see a couple of other Snooks releases are re-issued as well as Anson Funderburgh, Sam Myers and Ronnie Earl. Black Top released over 100 records in the 80's and 90's. Hope to see more in 2010!
Add a comment below if you would like to submit your own picks for 2009 or to comment on the picks above.