Back to Bourbon Street
There's not much that I can say about the one-year anniversary of Katrina that hasn't already been said. I do find it ironic, however, that some NYC politicians have been up in arms over recent comments by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who tried to defend his own sorry political record by taking a swipe at the fact that, five years later, there's still a "hole in the ground" at Ground Zero. Well, it is true that infrastructure is being laid at that hole in the ground, but let's face it: The WTC's Ground Zero has become a textbook illustration of internecine interest-group warfare, leading to interminable delays in construction... indeed, even in the planning for construction!
All this said, let us put aside the politics for a day, and remember New Orleans and its culture, which has had a past, and which will have a future.
This brings to mind a new CD that I'm listening to, put out by the Side Street Strutters, entitled "Back to Bourbon Street." From the poignant sounds of "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?" to the swinging tempos of "There'll Be Some Changes Made," "King Porter Stomp," and "Royal Garden Blues," this is a wonderful album.
And, heck, it also features the terrific trombone work of one of my favorite trombone players in the whole wide world, my pal, Roger Bissell!
As Andy Waterman writes in the liner notes, "Back to Bourbon Street seems to be an appropriate place to musically congregate in this post-Katrina universe." The album reminds us of the vivacious, life-affirming culture that is New Orleans.