“Forgiveness is the key and love is the answer… Have a good Jazz Fest, but also have a good life.”
The show had an undercurrent that brought to the fore all the issues that have put Wynton Marsalis at the center of the culture wars.
Mostly the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival ends up being about the multiplicity and infinite variety of cultures and traditions, including generic funk.
You could sometimes be halfway into a Bad Plus show before hearing anything like a jazz chord from pianist Ethan Iverson.
The throughline of “Town and Country” is folk — austere, hardscrabble.
The sense of place, the passage of time, the death-haunted imagery, and the coolly rhythmic verse gives Lucinda Williams’s songs their traction.
The Fest’s music is mostly about audience participation — whether it’s dancing, sing-a-longs, or shouts of call-and-response.
But dissonance is at the edge of everything you hear at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival — a sound that contains multitudes.
Gunther Schuller dove into jazz with passionate hunger, in the process dispelling cultural, class, and racial prejudices.
Bill Frisell and his quartet performed a program of well-worn American hits whose juxtapositions allowed you to make your own cross-references and draw your own conclusions.