Piano Jazz was guest-hosted by Elvis Costello, and guest-guested by Allen Toussaint. It’s a nice listen — here’s the link — even if to my great disappointment he doesn’t play “SJI.” Toussaint is such a fascinating guy, I always love his interviews, and the more I hear him and learn about him the more I think he’s one of my heroes. There’s a moment when he declines to play a James Booker tune, and do so with such casual elegance and certainty, you somehow trust that he’s right even if you’re disappointed.
And who else could be so smooth and convincing in observing that Katrina brought “blessings”? Anybody else who referred to “the booking agent Katrina” getting gigs for New Orleans players all over the world in the past four years would sound snide or crass. Toussaint just sounds thoughtful and matter-of fact. “More musicians got to work after Katrina than ever before in history,” he observes.
“SJI” is mentioned once in passing by Costello as a quintessential New Orleans song (I always like hearing that), and at the end there’s an interesting mini-medley of “Tipitina” and “Ascension Day.” The latter is the tune these two did together on The River In Reverse; I wrote about that here.
JazzSet, meanwehile, has a Marlon Jordan set — the link is here. (Apropos of Toussaint’s point, the intro indicates that the jazz festival in Colorado, where the performance was recorded has gone out of its way to add New Orleans musicians to its lineup since Katrina.) Jordan (who is Kidd Jordan’s son) is not someone I’m all that familiar with, but it’s a nice set, and the interview with him toward the middle of the show, about his harrowing Katrina experience (stuck on his roof for five days) is interesting.