Monday, March 30, 2009

In Anticipation of the NOJAzzFest 2009

A welcoming view from the French Quarter on the First weekend of the 2008 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.


On the way from the French Quarter to the Fairgrounds the signs of Katrina remain, although there is new paint on some to hide the dereliction.


I had a great time stomping up a storm with the lively tunes of Buckwheat Zydeco

Buck Wheat Zydeco

And seeing Carol Fran was a treat.
Carol Fran

I love going to Jazz fest in New Orleans. My first time was the year right after Katrina, and I have been going every year since. I had never know a New Orleans other than post Katrina, and I can say the people of NOLa are incredible at turning the other cheek and living for the day, and living with gusto.

Every year I anticipate the release of the weekend Artist lineups, and once they are published, I print them and highlight everyone I really want to see and photograph for both weekends and see which one has more. Then coordinate with my traveling companions, work and family to see which weekend is feasible in reality.

Then come the Jazz Fest Cubes, the grid system published to show what artist is performing on what stage and at what time; it looks much more simple than how I have described. Again with the highlighter, my kids like to color with me too.

After the Cubes come the Grids. The grids are a great online publication of the nightlife and club venues in New Orleans. I love seeing Kermit Ruffins, and at the Rock-n-Bowl is one of my favorite spots, I will get to do so again this year!
This year My companions are doing something special, on of my friends is having her 30th Anneversary of going to Jazz Fest! and we are staying an extra night to go to WWOZ's Piano Night at the House of Blues! I cant Wait!

The Food! I have yet to have better Red Beans and Rice than at Jazz Fest. The Crawfish Monica, Po-boys, Crawfish Bread, Rose Mint Tea... oh my mouth is watering right now!

Blue Note Recordings by Rudy Van Gelder

I found a love for Jazz around at around 18 and started slowly built my collection, with the Thelonious Monk album Monk's Dream, and The Chess Box :Muddy Waters.
 As I listened to and joined the local Jazz Radio station KLON I discovered Horace Silver's Song for My Father, which was shortly added to my library.   I was so impressed with Horace's fluididty and prancing across the piano, I went out and got Blowin' the Blues Away, but when I played this CD I instantly heard.... more.  
That is the best way I can describe it, More; more depth, more richness, more spectrum of tone, to take a pun from the album's title I was Blown Away.  After looking over the liner notes the Recording Engineer Rudy Van Gelder was the reason for More.
His influence on recording the piano and the jazz ensembles is the Eleven on Nigel Tufnel's Spinal Tap Amp.  I traded in several of my non RVG recordings for ones with his masters touch, and have been slowly collecting RVG recordings by all of the great Blue Note Artists.  See the sidebar for a list of what I have complied so far.  I would recommend every one of them, and have a playlist based on the search for Rudy Van Gelder rather than individual artists, his influence is that noticeable.

If you have Birth of Cool, which you SHOULD, or if not get Budo (2000 Digital Remaster) (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) and compare for yourself, best with comfortable full range headphones.

Hope for GM

30 days for GM to figure out what is has been unable to do for the past decades? I have Hope for our President's Plan, and I will continue to support Barak Obama if things do not fair so well for GM.

I seriously hope that GM will make commitments to retool and provide the next generation of alternative fuel vehicles.

In my opinion their plan should include a predictive estimate of fuel supply consumption and ramp the production of those vehicles down, exactly opposite the rate of consumption. A Quick Win would be to implement more efficient diesel engines across a broader range of vehicles, with a mandatory bio-diesel option!
Next, go Hybrid, and for real - not what the Chevy Volt is becoming, but to learn from what was scrapped, the EV-1.
And right there, the EV-1... why not the EV-2, 3, 4...?!

All of those government fleet vehicles to be purchase need to be electric only for inner city transit, and charged primarily by solar, wind or another green energy.

Initiatives for automatic speed modulation would improve fuel efficiency once implemented widely, and improve safety. Mercedes already has it in their S-Class, read here in Ryan Block's engadget article, if the GM engineers could take that to the next level where the surrounding vehicles transmit and receive speed, rpm, and direction information and adjust accordingly to allow merging and either via GPS destination control or by manually signaling.
I believe the technology exists in descrete packages that can be integrated to do all of this and more, like the incredible creations for DARPA.

As for the the abundance of redundance in the GM product line, two brands Chevrolet, and Cadillac. Drop all of the inter-competing products, and as Obama's Plan suggests create a Global Platform. That global platform needs to also infiltrate the industrial transit markets as well, imagine making the Prius of delivery trucks?

I would love to read your comments, thanks for reading