The Preservation Hall Band performed here at Purdue yesterday. Preservation
Hall, as you know, is hailed by many to be the birthplace and the sanctuary of Jazz in its original form.
Preservation Hall is an institution that hosted the best Jazzmen (Louis Armstrong,
Buddy Holden) and women (Sweet Emma Barret, Dee dee Pierce..)and it
has now become the symbol of the rebirth of New-Orleans as the city resumes the rebuilding process.
Located at the corner of St-Peters St and Bourbon St in the French
Quarter, Preservation Hall is just a small room where the
audience sits on the floor and appreciates jazz played in its purest
Three of the band members, John Brunious (trumpet), Walter Payton (Bass)
and Carl Leblanc (banjo) lost their homes during Hurricane Katrina.
Despite the absence of electricity and water pressure at 30% in their
own homes, the band is still touring. They had the whole crowd weeping
while playing "Do you know what it means to miss New-Orleans" (see
video) and they got them dancing and singing to "when the saints go
I was singing along as well but with the malagasy lyrics to this song.
Why ? Because the whole theme of the night was about honoring home,wherever it might be. The band is away from their N-O home but they take it with them and as Clint the vocalist said "share it with everyone at each concert."
So play the song, clap your hand in rythm and sing with me in Malagasy:
" Rehefa any an-danitra any reo olona marobe-e-e-e-e,
tsy mijalyna hoe noana izy ireo
fa akaikin'An-dria-manitra ..."
(thanks harinjaka for the correct lyrics :) )
The Preservation Hall Band may not be the best jazz band in the
world at the moment (although Rickie Monie and Co. would give any band a run for
their money) but it surely is one of the most important. If you
need one more reason to watch them, make sure you catch Walter "Teddy Bear"
Payton sing and shake to "shake that thing" : he looks just like "Balu"
the bear in the Jungle book.