Play It By Ear

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This week we find the connections between the legendary musician Danny Barker, a Baptist Church marching band from New Orleans, and brass bands like the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth.   Late in life, Danny Barker gathered young musicians for a marching band -- and what he did wound up keeping New Orleans jazz alive for a new generation.

Every week on NEW ORLEANS CALLING, we provide additional material online to accompany each show, in case you're interested in finding out more... Sometimes it's going more in-depth, sometimes it's something cool we didn't have time to go into, and sometimes it's just plain fun.

Here's a list of interesting links and information about the stories and music in this week's show, "Play It By Ear":

Danny Barker was a jazz musician from New Orleans who left for New York City in 1931, and played with many greats of the day, including Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong.   His autobiography, My Life In Jazz, is one of the most important first-person accounts of twentieth-century jazz.  He returned to New Orleans in 1965, and joined the Fairview Baptist Church with his wife Blu Lu Barker (even though they had been raised Roman Catholic.)  Around 1970, the pastor at Fairview Baptist Church asked Danny to help the church form a marching band -- and that is where this week's story begins.

Mentioned in this week's show:
Paul Barbarin   1899-1969  
Little Brother Montgomery   1906-1985   
Benny Carter  1907-2003    
Baby Dodds  jazz drummer 1898-1959   
Sidney Bechet 1897-1959  
Kermit Ruffins   

Danny Barker's last composition was "Palm Court Strut," recorded by Danny Barker with Pud Brown and his New Orleans Jazzmen.  Here's a version recorded in New Orleans by the Tin Men in 2012.  

Some of the traditional brass bands included in this episode:
Young Tuxedo Brass Band
Onward Brass Band
Olympia Brass band

Some other contemporary brass bands to check out include:
The Stooges
TBC Brass Band
Hot 8 Brass Band
Little Rascals Brass Band
New Birth Brass Band

After starting out with the original Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band:
Gregg Stafford went on to lead the Young Tuxedo Jazz Band, and to tour the world.
Leroy Jones led the Hurricane Brass Band, then toured Asia and Europe for years.  He has toured and recorded extensively with Harry Connick Jr and now leads New Orleans Finest, and also appears with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Gregory Davis went on to form the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Joe Torregano played with the Olympia Brass Band, and then the Young Tuxedo Brass Band
Lucien Barbarin plays trombone and tours the world with various musicians
Big Al Carson sings blues and jazz in New Orleans.
Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen played in the Olympia Brass Band, and then formed the Chosen Few, for many years a fixture in Jackson Square.  He was a mentor and role model for many young musicians.  The second line at his funeral in 2004 was legendary, and included dozens of musicians, including fourteen sousaphones alone.
Herlin Riley switched from trumpet to drums, and tours with Wynton Marsalis and on his own, lectures at universities, and is now one of the most respected jazz drummers in America.

Special thanks to New Orleans jazz historian Don Marquis, whose 2006 Mississippi Rag article "Danny's Boys Grow Up" (co-written with Don Jacobsen) was essential to the planning of this program, as was his interview with WWOZ.


Paul Barbarin with the Onward Brass Brand - "Muscat Ramble"   
(music bed: Paul Barbarin with the Onward Brass Brand - "Victory Walk")
The Young Tuxedo Brass Band - "Lord, Lord, Lord"   
(music bed: Magnificent Seventh's Brass Band - "Down by the Riverside")
The Young Tuxedo Brass Band - "It Feels So Good"   
(music bed: Leroy Jones with the Hurricane Brass Band - "Nearer My God to Thee")
Dejan's Olympia Brass Band - "It Ain't My Fault"   
Forgotten Souls Brass Band - "Bourbon Street Parade"   
(music bed: Leroy Jones with the Hurricane Brass Band - "Joe Avery's Tune")
(music bed: Dirty Dozen Brass Band - "Inner City Blues")
Dirty Dozen Brass Band - "Fiyo on the Bayou," recorded live at Voodoo Music Experience by WWOZ   
Rebirth Brass Band - "Do What you Wanna"    
(music bed: Dirty Dozen Brass Band - "Jesus on the Mainline")
(music bed: Gregg Stafford & Dr. Michael White - "Flee as a Bird")
The Stooges Brass Band - "Paul Barbarin"   
(music bed: Souls Rebel Brass Band - "Roy's Har-Groove")

NEW ORLEANS CALLING is a production of WWOZ, listener-supported community radio in the Crescent City.
Host, writer, editor, interviewer, audio engineer, intrepid field recorder, and co-producer is George Ingmire.
Dave Ankers is the producer.
Melanie Merz is the supervising producer.
Vocal tracks produced by Jorge Fuentes.
National distribution managed by Russell Shelton and Carmen Connor Post.
Web support by David Stafford.
Live tracks mixed by George Ingmire, Damond Jacob and Tony Guillory.
Executive Producer is WWOZ’s General Manager David Freedman.

Additional interviews for this show were conducted by WWOZ show hosts Sally Young, Leslie Cooper, and Dan Meyer.

Special thanks to:
Sally Young and Crystal Gross, for their voice talents;
WWOZ’s Dwayne Breashears, Scott Borne, Dee Lindsey, Lauren Del Rio, Leslie Molson, Beau Royster, and Maryse Dejean;
Rachel Lyons, Dolores Hooper, and the Archives of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival & Foundation;
and to WWOZ's interns:  Olivia Broslawsky, James Bullard, Candace Crawford, Ben Russell, and Lily Wasserman.

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