Clifford Lamb Announces New Jazz “Mashup”: Blues & Hues New Orleans

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Scott H. Thompson

Clifford Lamb Announces New Jazz "Mashup" Blues & Hues New Orleans


 
Following the success of his previous live, two track recording, Blues & Hues, San Francisco pianist Clifford Lamb again teams up with producer Jeff Weber to pursue their concept of the jazz “mashup” – the process in which a Lamb composition is stirred into an existing jazz work to offer a new perspective on history and culture. This time, they took their show on the road – despite COVID-19 restrictions – to record in New Orleans, the storied birthplace of jazz, whose gritty majesty and bayou mystery have inspired Lamb for years.
 

Lamb has used the mashup concept as a way of telescoping history in order to offer musical commentary on societal issues. Now, he says “This has evolved to embrace the elements of an individual city, from love to racism to the cultural events that define it – and in this case, the chance to also consider what happened to the people who migrated there, particularly Africans from different lands who, centuries ago, converged on New Orleans, a distant land they did not understand.”
 
On this first in a series of planned geo-musical explorations by Lamb, NOLA provides not only the backdrop but also the starring players, including such vaunted Crescent Citizens as trumpeter Nicholas Payton, drummer Herlin Riley, bassist Roland Guerin and saxophonist (and Mardi Gras Big Chief) Donald Harrison.
 
This recording took place in October 2020, when “the cacophony of blues emanating from the juke joints and piano trios” (in Lamb’s words) had calmed to a hush due to the pandemic. Working with musicians who constitute the city’s heart and soul, however, Lamb was able to revive those sounds, and with the immediacy of a live, two track recording strategy, to then recast those very sounds into a memorable statement, not only of the then and there, but also of the here and now.


 

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About the Author / Scott H. Thompson

About Scott Thompson Thompson served as Assistant Director of Public Relations for Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York for almost a decade. With a background in broadcast journalism, Thompson’s voice and work has been heard on the Associated Press Radio Network, the Mutual Broadcasting network and NBC-AM New York, on The Morning Show. His experience spans radio, television, print and the internet. Thompson co-produced the New Haven Jazz Festival from 1994-2000. A prolific writer, Thompson has contributed to DownBeat, JazzTimes, Jazziz, and the All Music Guide. He penned the CD liner notes to Herbie Hancock Head Hunters, Weather Report 8:30, George Duke Brazilian Love, Stan Getz The New Collection, The Essence of Maynard Ferguson, and The Essence of Al DiMeola. Scott is one of the original members of the Jazz Journalists Association. Editor’s note: Style Quarterly is very pleased to make the connection with Scott and values his enthusiastic support of Jazz.

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