Tuesday , February 20 2018
Home / Music / Reviews music / Album Reviews / Music Review: Dee Dee Bridgewater, Irvin Mayfield, and The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra: ‘Dee Dee’s Feathers’
A dynamic tribute to the cultural spirit of New Orleans and its people’s character on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Music Review: Dee Dee Bridgewater, Irvin Mayfield, and The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra: ‘Dee Dee’s Feathers’

Dee Dee’s Feathers, Dee Dee Bridgewater’s collaboration with trumpet master Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO), is a dynamic tribute to the cultural spirit of New Orleans and its people’s character on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Bridgewater is a vocal powerhouse who clearly belongs in the pantheon of great jazz vocalists, and her work with Mayfield and the NOJO is simply another demonstration of that truism. The album is a passionate love song to a city rising from the flood waters refusing to become victim to circumstance. Though much has been taken, Bridgewater, Mayfield, and the impressively talented musicians of the NOJO triumphantly demonstrate that much remains.dee dee b

Featuring a playlist that honors the past by weaving together a program classic tunes like “Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans” and new compositions like Mayfield’s nostalgic ballad, “C’est Ici Que Je T’aime,” tunes that ultimately define the spirit of the city. It is classic something old, something new, something borrowed, something—oh, wait, that’s something different, but what the hell—clearly blue.

You can’t go wrong with a repertoire that includes New Orleans classic gems like “Saint James Infirmary” and “Big Chief.” The latter highlighted by a guest invasion from Dr. John. They smash their way through Hoagy Carmichael’s “New Orleans” and the “Treme Song.” The orchestra swings throughout, but what else would you expect, and when Mayfield takes a solo, his aim is true.

The feathers in the album’s title are explained in the short song of the same name by Bridgewater, Mayfield, and percussionist Bill Summers. The feathers are a symbol of life: “Gonna wear feathers in my hair/Wear them feathers til I’m dead.” These songs and the many more like them are the feathers in New Orlean’s hair. Feathers a city that will never die will always wear.

Commentaries from Bridgewater and Mayfield on various songs like “One Fine Thing”, which opens the album, and “Congo Square” are available on YouTube.

There is also a brilliant version of “The House of the Rising Sun”, which was included as one of two bonus tracks exclusive to Barnes and Noble.

[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00SZFQGEG]

About Jack Goodstein

Check Also

Head Above Tide

Music Review: Jason Vitelli – ‘Head Above Tide’ Offers Little to Recommend

'Head Above Tide' lacks structure. Lank themes, disproportionate rhythms, and unusual harmonic mannerisms come across as perplexing conglomerations of theorizing discords. The music is pensive and melancholy, dry and lifeless, probably because it’s too complex, too intricate, and too intellectual.