Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Movie on New Orleans Trumpeter Buddy Bolden; and odds and ends about NOLA and Jazz Fest

Five to chew on:

1)Believe it or don't: TWO movies are in the works on New Orleans' first cornet king, Buddy Bulden. And, yes, the Marsalises are involved and the films are being shot in the Big Easy, according to the story in today's New York Times.

According to NYT writer Michael Cieply:

Dan Pritzker — a billionaire’s son best known as founder of and guitarist for the off-center soul-rock band Sonia Dada, and an important investor in the project as well as its director — has never made a movie. Yet that neophyte status has not kept him from attracting an impressive group of actors and behind-the- camera talent, including members of the Marsalis clan, to tell the story of a man Pritzker likens to “a shaman who flipped on the lights.”

The first picture, currently titled “Bolden,” is a musical biography with Anthony Mackie (“We Are Marshall”) in the lead role and Wendell Pierce (“The Wire”) and Jackie Earle Haley (an Oscar nominee this year for “Little Children”) among the supporting cast. The second is an hourlong silent film called “The Great Observer,” in which a young boy named Louis, recalling Bolden’s more celebrated successor Louis Armstrong, dreams of playing the horn while becoming entangled with the denizens of New Orleans’s red-light district, played by a company of ballerinas.

2)Jazz historian Dick Allen, one of the founders of Jazz Fest and a guy who probably knew more about New orleans musicians than anyone alive, passed away on Thursday. Here's the AP story on Allen, and here's the Times-Picayune obit.

3)Not that I usually have time (or $$$$ or the patience to wait in long lines) to go out to big meals on Jazz Fest days, but, herewith, just in time for Jazz Fest season in New Orleans -- 100 great places to eat (courtesy New Orleans Times-Picayune):

4)New Orleans locals are expressing "sticker shock" over Jazz Fest ticket prices, according to the Times-Picayune:
A thought: You know, $35 (in advance) for a ticket to Jazz Fest has to be one of the concert industry's last, best bargains. Music (and everything else) runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (and usually later) on a dozen or so stages. Compare that with the $75 to $300 people will shell out to see even ONE act at one of the enormodomes around the country.

5)Here comes a new jazz fest blog, penned by the producer of, the web home for the Times-Picayune

6)And a blast from (my) past: Here's my review of the 2001 edition of Jazz Fest, as posted at Jazz House, the online home of the Jazz Journalists Association, and adapted from pieces I wrote for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Billboard.

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