J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Great Night in Harlem

The Jazz Foundation of America’s benefit concert was a big success last night. Much needed funds were raised, and some great music was heard. No political statements were made, as Foundation president Jarrett Lillien made the point that when faced with a tragedy like Katrina, it is easy to point the finger of blame, but much more difficult to do something constructive in response.

There was much NOLA flavor heard, from traditional musicians like the New Birth Brass Band and Dr. Michael White Original Liberty Band. James Blood Ulmer performed a spooky solo blues for hurricane survivors, and surprise guest Elvis Costello performed “The River in Reverse,” the title song from his upcoming collaboration with Allen Toussant. Ending with some rousing up-tempo blues, at one point featuring Wendy on harmonica, it was a very successful night. However, the Foundation still has much work ahead. To support their work, go here.