Leroy Jones started out his career playing trumpet in his parents' garage in New Orleans -- and he played so loud it caught the attention of jazz legend Danny Barker, who lived in the neighborhood. Since then his journey has taken him to the Superbowl Halftime show and around the world -- and now all the way back to us for an intimate interview and performance at the historic Basin St Station.
Harry Connick Jr said "No one could touch him. For young musicians like me, he was exciting, intimidating. For the older ones, he was the keeper of the flame. But Leroy did more than keep the flame. He started a forest fire..."
Leroy grew up in the same neighborhood as famous musicians Danny Barker, Dave "Fatman" Williams, and Ernest Cagnolatti.
Leroy was mentored by Danny Barker, forming the Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band, which also included Lucien Barbarin, Big Al Carson, Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen, Herlin Riley, Gregg Stafford, Joseph Torregano, and many others. This was followed by the Hurricane Brass Band, and many more. For more on the story of these legendary bands that changed the course of music in New Orleans, check out this episode of New Orleans Calling, "Play It By Ear."
This is a great interview with Leroy and fellow trumpeter Wendell Brunious, shot at Jazz Ascona in Switzerland.
The Leroy Jones Quintet played a special show for New Orleans Calling at the historic Basin St Station this spring, and we featured tracks on our Live from Basin St Station segment in this episode. Here's a video of "Basin St Blues" from that show. Featuring Leroy Jones (trumpet), Katja Toivola Jones (trombone), Meghan Swartz (piano), Mitchell Player (bass), and Gerald French (drums).
THIS WEEK'S TRACK LISTING:
Dave 'Fat Man' Williams - "I Ate Up The Apple Tree"
Chris Kenner - "Land Of 1000 Dances" (music bed)
Danny Barker - "Eh La Bas"
Leroy Jones - "City of Sounds" (music bed)
Buster Williams - "Tayamisha" (music bed)
Harry Connick, Jr - "Avalon" (music bed)
Harry Connick, Jr - "He Is, They Are"
Leroy Jones - "Alfie" (music bed)
Alvin Batiste with others - "Stardust" (music bed)
Louis Armstrong - "Ain't Misbehavin'"
Louis Armstrong - "Hello Dolly" (music bed)
Louis Armstrong - "Otchi-Tchor-Ni-Ya" (music bed)
Louis Armstrong - "Wild Man Blues" (music bed)
Leroy Jones Quintet - "Struttin' with Some BBQ"
Leroy Jones Quintet - "Basin Street Blues"
Leroy Jones - Soft Shoe (music bed)
NEW ORLEANS CALLING is a production of WWOZ, listener-supported community radio in the Crescent City.
Your host, writer, editor, interviewer, audio engineer, and co-producer is George Ingmire.
Dave Ankers is the producer.
Melanie Merz is the supervising producer.
National distribution is managed by Russell Shelton and Carmen Connor Post.
Web support by David Stafford.
Executive Producer is WWOZ’s General Manager David Freedman.
Live From Basin St. Station is made possible by a partnership between WWOZ and the historic Basin St. Station. Live recording produced by Damond Jacob. Special thanks to Michael, Bubby, and Jay Valentino, Laura Tennyson, and Khalid Hafiz.
Special thanks to:
Sally Young and Melanie Merz, for their voice talents; WWOZ's Jorge Fuentes, Maryse Dejean, Scott Borne, Dee Lindsey, Lauren Del Rio, Leslie Molson, Beau Royster, and Dwayne Breashears;
and to WWOZ volunteers Helen Kyriakoudes, Catey Jones, and Erin Lierl.