Various Artists (from the album Jazz Fest, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)
As a journalist, it is always nice to get an easy pitch, one that writes itself by simply championing the high points of its artists. The Various Artists collected on Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivalmake the use of word descriptions, the multiple-disc set putting marquee names on the tracks with music from Professor Longhair, The Neville Brothers, The Dixie Cups, Buckwheat Zydeco, Marcia Ball, Dr. John, BeauSoleil, The Subdudes, Anders Osborne, Wild Magnolias as a sampling. The natural sound of New Orleans claims many bloodlines, Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivalrepresenting Crescent City music with Brass Bands and Gospel choirs, Jump Jazz, Zydeco, Blues, Funk, R&B, and a heavy mojo of swamp grooves and voodoo rhythms.
The material collected on Jazz Fest: New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivalgathers unreleased performances from 1974 to 2016, the songs and artists highlights from the fifty years of the festival. Walter Wolfman Washington recalls the title track from his Blue Moon Rising album while Allen Toussaint is joined by Bonnie Raitt on “What is Success”. Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown hops Duke Ellington ride with “Take the ‘A’ Train” while Preservation Hall Jazz Band blow their Blues for “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It” and Trombone Shorty leads The March in “One Night Only”. The music is accompanied in the box set with history and photographs of the festival. Like its yearly line-up, Jazz Fest: New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivalpresents the many musical sides of the city on a revolving kaleidoscope sound stage.
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