Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Morning Jacket and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band - We didn't say it...

As you probably are aware by now, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and My Morning Jacket have just completed a whirlwind affair; two weeks out on the road together with some amazing Jazz Fest performances in the middle! As one might expect, a genre-transcending monster mash of such prodigious proportions has caught the eye of some very astute journalists. Here's what a few of them had to say...

My Morning Jacket Open Tour in Alabama
Concert Review by Kenn McCracken for
"My Morning Jacket have a reputation as one of the best live bands around, and their tour kickoff Tuesday night at the Alabama Theater in Birmingham showed why.

After a strong opening set by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which concluded with a surprise guest vocal by My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James on "Louisiana Fairytale and St. James Infirmary," MMJ took the stage and dove into "One Big Holiday..." FULL ARTICLE HERE

Concert Shots: My Morning Jacket / Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 4-20-10
by Brent Thompson for The Birmingham Weekly

"One of the more unlikely – and enjoyable – double-bill shows you’ll ever find: Louisville’s guitar-driven quintet My Morning Jacket headlining a show opened by Big Easy stalwarts Preservation Hall Jazz Band. On Tuesday, April 20, the bands played to a sold-out crowd at the Alabama Theatre in a show presented by Red Mountain Entertainment..."

The Jacket Are Back at It
by Andrew William Smith for
"...the Preservation Hall Jazz Band created a timeless, romantic, and clubby vibe, complete
with clarinet solos and a soaring sousaphone. For two tunes, Yim Yames took the stage and sang lead through a red cheerleader’s megaphone. The collaborative spirit and mutual respect seen then would return for the encore, where the Preservation party would join the Jacket for a full-on, throw-down, soul-town, funkytronic dance party..."

April 24th - PHJB joins MMJ at JAZZ FEST
Kayceman's Top Three (JazzFest, 04.24.10) for
#1 - My Morning Jacket I have seen Jim James bring rain to Bonnaroo when Tennessee needed it, and now I've seen him bring sun to Jazz Fest when New Orl
eans needed it. A powerful, moving performance by the Jacket, they touched on all facets of their catalog including Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up" to close the set. But what made this show so special was the inclusion of New Orleans legends Al "Carnival Time" Johnson singing "Carnival Time" and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (who is currently on tour with MMJ) on a wicked version of "Highly Suspicious" that had this writer wondering if we might be witnessing the start of a horn relationship for MMJ similar to what Widespread Panic has developed with NOLA's Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

Another Day At Jazz Fest Ends On A High Note
by Jerry Shriver for USA Today
"...Louisville's My Morning Jacket capped their 90-minute set of dreamy, theatrical, 21st-century white country-soul songs by introducing New Orleans' venerable Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The ultra-traditional ensemble, whose recent benefit album features My Morning Jacket lead singer Jim James, backed him here on uproarious versions of Mother-in-Law, It's Carnival Time and the Curtis Mayfield classic Move On Up..."

Jazz Fest April, 24 - Full Morning Jacket
by Will Coviello for The Gambit

"The most amazing harmony at the fest was struck between My Morning Jacket and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which have been performing together recently. The Pres Hall band joined Jim James et al for a funk romp through “Highly Suspicious.” Then they tackled “Mother-In-Law.” Then Bonerama’s Craig Klein and Mark Mullins came on stage with Al “Carnival Time” Johnson and they all did “Carnival Time.” To close the set, Clint Maedgen arrived and the ensemble covered Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up.” It was a fun and quirky progression but an absolutely inspired set..."

Preservation Hall Jazz Band, My Morning Jacket, and Amy Lavere Photos - Preservation Hall, 04/24/10
photos by Mark C. Austin for Paste Magazine

On Saturday night, Preservation Hall Jazz Band took to the building from which they’re named after, playing for an intimate crowd of 120 with help from My Morning Jacket and Amy Lavelle. Paste’s Mark C. Austin was there.

My Morning Jacket with Preservation Hall Jazz Band / 04.24.10 / Preservation Hall
Words by Kayceman
Photos by Erika Goldring

"After performing part of their set with Preservation Hall Jazz Band earlier in the day at their Saturday headlining Jazz Fest slot (read about it here), My Morning Jacket teamed up with the local New Orleans legends later that night on their home turf at the tiny New Orleans institution, Preservation Hall. It was an intense, intimate evening that had the 100 or so attendees completely enthralled with every note and word. The show featured the Preservation Hall Jazz Band starting the night off solo then welcoming singer Amy LaVere and MMJ's Jim James, both of whom appear on Preservation Hall Jazz Band's new benefit album Preservation. Following the Prez Hall portion, MMJ took the stage for an incredible acoustic set that concluded with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band parading through the French Quarter with My Morning Jacket."MORE PHOTOS HERE

April 25th - MMJ joins PHJB at JAZZ FEST 2010
Jazz Fest lets the sun and fun shine in after wet weekend
by Jerry Shriver for USA Today
"With thousands watching under brilliant blue skies, Preservation Hall ran through a lively repertoire of standards and offered proof that the music pioneered in New Orleans a century ago was the clear progenitor of today's jam-band phenomenon. Toward the end, the band brought out My Morning Jacket vocalist Jim James, who wielded a Rudy Vallee-style megaphone to croon Louisiana Fairytale while twirling giddily during the instrumental breaks. The show ended with a delightful bit of musicology: contemporary trumpeter Terence Blanchard came on stage to back James and the band on an early version of the jazz standard St. James Infirmary, punctuating the mournful lyrics with rough-hewn cries and wails. Then James left the stage and Preservation Hall vocalist Clint Maedgens took over to sing the now-standard version of the song, tracing its evolution. The lesson may have been lost on the crowd, but the song's enduring power was not..."

Jazz Fest Week One: Quick Thoughts
by Alex Rawls for Offbeat Magazine
"The Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s set Sunday was a reminder that there are no corny songs, just corny versions. It opened with a dynamic, joyful “Bourbon Street Parade” and closed with not one but two back-to-back versions of “St. James Infirmary.” The idea of repeating a song seems like a recipe for disaster, but the first was sung by My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and it had a haunting air, with James contributing ghostly moans while Terence Blanchard’s solo escalated the melancholy with grace. Blanchard remained onstage and took a different, livelier tack on the rollicking version sung by Clint Maedgen but whipped to the finish line by drummer Joe Lastie."FULL ARTICLE HERE

Preservation Hall Jazz Band: No Added Preservatives by Josh Jackson for NPR Jazz
"...Trombonist Freddie Lonzo and trumpeter Mark Braud provided the low-down brass blues, clarinetist Charlie Gabriel added a soaring clarinet response and singer Clint Maedgen was hip without pretense. Their version of "I Believe Like Moses Did" never broke down, even when they were goofing...

Amy LaVere was there to sing the enticing "Baby Won't You Please Come Home" into a vintage-style ribbon microphone, albeit one that was wreaking havoc for the sound technicians. Her auburn-accented hair sailed into the breeze, and she handled an equally flowing delivery.

Jim James showed up in the band's suit-and-tie dress code, with a bullhorn resembling a stolen traffic cone. There was little caution to his sweetness on "Louisiana Fairytale," a song about smelling magnolias and being in love — "The world is at our feet, the picture is complete, like a Lou'siana fairytale." Really, Yim Yames?"

Preservation Hall Gets A Little Help From Their Friends
by Keith Spera for the New Orleans Times-Picayune

"Pres Hall joined My Morning Jacket for the conclusion of the latter's Jazz Fest set on Saturday. Later that night, members of My Morning Jacket sat in with Preservation Hall at the Hall itself for the toughest ticket of this Jazz Fest season. Prominent rock photographer Danny Clinch is on hand to shoot a documentary of the collaboration.

And, at Jazz Fest on Sunday, My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James joined Preservation Hall at the Gentilly Stage for two songs. He even donned the band's traditional white shirt, black tie and black vest, accessorized with a pair of rock star sunglasses.

Even before James's appearance, the Pres Hall set demonstrated the benefits of cross-generational collaboration. Thirty-something, pencil-mustachioed saxophonist and singer Clint Maedgen, recruited from the avant-garde performance troupe the New Orleans Bingo! Show, presided over a leering "Complicated Life," a Kinks cover that the Hall has adapted.

On "I Believe Like Moses Did," trombonist Freddie Lonzo, trumpeter Mark Braud and Maedgen, on one microphone, swapped call-and-response lines with clarinetist Charlie Gabriel on another. The playing was invigorated, the attitude mischievous..."

Preservation Party: On The Ground at New Orleans Jazz Fest
by David Fricke for

A little before 3 a.m. on April 25th, the past and promise of American music collided, with funk and ecstasy, at Preservation Hall in New Orleans. In that venerable French Quarter storefront, with its bare-walls decor and resident spirits of past jazz masters, the house combo — the Preservation Hall Jazz Band — and Southern-rock futurists My Morning Jacket played Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up" as a 12-piece unplugged supergroup. MMJ singer Jim James, decked out like a riverboat card shark, let his falsetto fly in the reverb-free room, through a lusty thicket of brass and frantic acoustic picking. Then the Preservation Hall cats, with MMJ drummer Patrick Hallahan, filed out of the club and took the music into St. Peter Street, leading the audience on a second-line parade and pulling surprised drinkers out of nearby bars into the wake.

Concert Review: My Morning Jacket at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre (with setlist)
by Deborah Ramos for

"When the band returned to the stage, they brought the Preservation Hall Jazz Band back with them. The St. Augustine show came just after both bands had played two shows in the Jazz Band’s native New Orleans, and they brought the energy of those performances into this evening. The Jazz Band proved themselves the perfect backing band for “Highly Suspicious,” a song I enjoy more and more every time I see it live, with the funk elements really emphasizing Prince’s influence in James’ vocals..."

[Concert Review] My Morning Jacket at the Lifestyle Communities Pavillion
by Casual Clay Cunningham for

"While the rain, which beat down rather heavily prior to the show, never fully subsided, it at least began to slow down by the time opening act, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, took the stage. While I am not a connoisseur of jazz music, I was quite taken with their great on stage chemistry, and the sheer joy they seemed to feel playing for an audience they likely don’t generally play for. And if you can close you set by getting a pavilion full of jaded hipsters to join you in a rendition of “You Are My Sunshine,” you must be doing something right (though having MMJ members perform three songs with them likely aided in getting the crowd on their side)..."

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