The song originally in mind for this morning’s song will have to be postponned, of 88 keys and some tra-la-las. New Orleans’s Jazzfest is wrapping up this coming weekend, and my dear friend and fellow piano barbarian Steve Savage sent us some info from the Pelican State: no one does the piano like NOLA, and Jon Cleary is one of the reigning kings.
I’ve seen him in concert, recently in fact. Last year, Dr. John played the Paradise and Cleary opened for him on solo piano, playing tunes from a new record along with New Orleans classics. I must say it was more enjoyable than the more-famous main act, if only because famous expectations did not encumber him.
Watch Cleary work through a century of New Orleans piano.
And finally, our song of the day: the Professor Longhair classic, “Tipitina”. Mardi Gras Yankee fakers can keep “Iko Iko”. This Cleary’s extended, embellished version is fantastic, and the Professor Longhair original necessary listening.