I confess that if you tapped me on my shoulder at a jazz festival and said, “Do you want to hear a band playing calypsos, music from the islands?” even though I live on one, I might be skeptical. But if you said, “Charlie Halloran is leading a group on this stage,” I would trip over myself in my eagerness to be there. (And those of you who want only ROYAL GARDEN BLUES . . . I encourage you to be brave and approach the new songs without fear.)
I didn’t have to go through this imagined playlet at the musical Garden of Delights that is the Redwood Coast Music Festival: I was ready in my seat for this set, which Charlie now calls “Charlie and the Tropicales.” Perhaps you need to know who else was there besides Charlie on trombone: Ben Polcer, trumpet; Jonathan Doyle, clarinet; Kris Tokarski, piano; Alex Belhaj, guitar; Joshua Gouzy, string bass; Josh Collazo, drums.
Much has been said about the multi-cultural influences on what we loosely call the music of New Orleans: I’ll leave such ruminations to the cultural anthropologists — I prefer music to theorizing. And what music did Charlie and the Tropicales make! If you can listen to it without smiling and swaying, that (as they say) is your problem. And if you’ve turned away because it isn’t a jazz classic played by your favorite band, to quote Louis, “too bad for you.” Here’s music that rocks!
DOUDOU PAS PLEURE:
If you sat still in your seat through that music, let me talk to your neurologist, please. There’s a second part of this set to come . . . quickly, if you ask nicely.
May your happiness increase!