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I grew up in New Orleans 40+ years ago. My first introduction to Jazz was on the streets of the French Quarter, listening to black kids playing their banged up horns on the streets for a few coins tossed in the hat.

I recently read this description of a neighborhood band in New Orleans written a few years ago by Louis Maistros...

Everything that is good about New Orleans is embodied in this little band of regular neighborhood guys. They've been to hell and back, have even lived through the senseless murder of their friend, teacher, leader and drummer Dick Shavers, and yet they keep on with this music, this amazing, uplifting, truth-giving music. This is cool jazz, funked to the core and set ablaze, but it's something much more than that. It's the rawness of the street shot out through the business end of a tuba. It's Tabasco spiked with tears and gasoline. It's love. It's war. It's life and God and the devil and everything else in the world that matters and some things that don't and a few that fall in between and ask me if I give a damn about whatever it is because the reasons, the causes, the rationales, if there are any, can't possibly matter in this singular moment that puts this whole fucking mess in one simple context, on one single page, down and clear and all right there. These guys are not always sober. They're not always tight. But they are always, always just right. In the moment. In the pocket. In the heart. My heart. Yours if you're lucky.

That's what Jazz is to me...those kids on the street, playing music funked to the core and set ablaze, getting it just right.

Play dat funky music, white boy.  Wink

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