Jazz Fest 2014!

Jazz Fest 2014 is done, and the time for recollecting has arrived.  Seven days, three tired cameras, more than three blisters, and a a lot of photos.  As usual, click through any photo to browse the entire gallery of images from Jazz Fest.

Second Weekend:

Cowboy Mouth has played a bunch of Jazz Fests, and people on the grounds were of several minds about this show–crazed Cowboy Mouth fanatics, jamming the Acura Stage for the show, and more than a few “Oh, Cowboy Mouth.  Seen them before” holdouts. What a mistake to be in the latter camp, because Cowboy Mouth killed Jazz Fest on Day 5!  Crowd going wild, photographers dancing in the pit, getting hit by a flying, shattered drumstick (which we’re framing for the office, along with the shot below).  Check them out on Facebook, on their website, and check out the cool vintage amp (down a few pics), too.  And be sure you’re in the first camp next time.

 

Cowboy Mouth performs at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 5 in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Cowboy Mouth performs at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 5 in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Cowboy Mouth performs at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 5 in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Cowboy Mouth performs at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 5 in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Cowboy Mouth performs at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 5 in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Cowboy Mouth performs at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 5 in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Cowboy Mouth performs at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 5 in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Cowboy Mouth performs at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 5 in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Cowboy Mouth performs at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 5 in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Cowboy Mouth performs at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 5 in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Try to look more dignified than Pharaoh Sanders laying down some sax, and well, fail.  Nicknamed “Pharaoh” by Sun Ra, Sanders is an important figure in free jazz, and widely considered one of the best tenors ever.  He’s recorded a number of albums, beginning with his first in 1964, Pharoah’s First, on ESP-Disk (now in re-release, here, and far more accessible to newcomers to “free jazz” than many other ESP-Disk releases.  Approach with an open mind and enjoy, like we’re doing right now, as we write this!).  Not surprising that he was backed at Jazz Fest by a killer threesome.  If you missed this show, he’s off to Europe, but back in the USA in July 2014.

 

Pharoah Sanders performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Pharoah Sanders performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Pharoah Sanders performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Pharoah Sanders’ band performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Pharoah Sanders performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Pharoah Sanders performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Another hugely anticipated show (the crowd was polite enough, but clearly couldn’t wait for the photographers to be kicked out of the photo pit) was John Fogerty’s set on the Galaxy Stage.  There’s not much to say historically about John Fogerty that wouldn’t sound like a Wikipedia entry–if you didn’t grow up listening to CCR you’ve certainly heard of him, since he’s been playing for more than 50 years–and if not, what planet have you been living on?  Forgerty is clearly playing because he wants to (which is awesome, considering a reported net worth of something like $68M–he doesn’t have to entertain anyone), and that’s a distinguishing marker for “old timers” on tour.   His vocals and guitar skills–absolutely undiminished.  100% pure, wanker-free rock and roll, playing music that requires more than turning a knob back and forth and posturing (we won’t name names, now or later), and at a skill level that most have no hope of ever even aspiring to.  An absolutely outstanding show by a monster of rock and roll.

John Fogerty performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

John Fogerty performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

John Fogerty performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

John Fogerty performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

John Fogerty performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

John Fogerty performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

We don’t accept advertising, never will, say what we want, and generally rock some Johnny Rotten attitude while wearing an F-you Johnny Cash shirt (and wish more music magazines would do the same), so we’ll just get this out of the way–Arcade Fire’s whole genre is far, far off our radar.  We’d choose a great metal show, a heap of John Fogerty, some pop-busting Butcher Babies, or just about anything else first. But hey, the Acura Stage is a short walk and there was absolutely no denying the visuals.  There’s also no denying their popularity, since the crowd was Eric Clapton++-sized and highly energized.  If you’re already a fan, check out the photos–these guys really deliver in terms of stage show and we walked away with a dose of visual wow.  If you’re not a fan, check out the photos anyway, for exactly the same reason (we muted the volume).

Arcade Fire performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Arcade Fire performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Arcade Fire performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Arcade Fire performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Arcade Fire performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Arcade Fire performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Arcade Fire performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Arcade Fire performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Arcade Fire performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Arcade Fire performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Like Trombone Shorty’s show, which was a little more relaxed than last year’s, Charles Bradley’s performance also lacked a little of the gut punch of his last Jazz Fest appearance.  Nice to be able to breathe, though.  Could be a heavy touring schedule, could be that it’s just not humanly possible to reproduce his first Jazz Fest appearance.  But it’s still Charles Bradley, the man has got some pipes and attitude, and we were thrilled to see him again.  Sort of like winning $100,000 instead of $1,000,000–one should only bitch in relative terms.  And we can’t wait for next time.  Why is it so hard (to wait)?

Charles Bradley performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Charles Bradley performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Charles Bradley performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Charles Bradley performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

One thing about New Orleanians–they may leave for a bit, but they always come back.  Not so (yet) for Henry Butler, who’s living in New York, and has hooked up with Steven Bernstein, an extraordinary trumpeter (and slide trumpeter) of Sex Mob fame.  They appeared together at Jazz Fest with the “Hot 9” band. Keep the candle burning for Henry, but wish him some New York fame in his absence–he deserves it and has come a long way from playing on River Road to a ragged crowd of locals!

Henry Butler, Steven Bernstein, and the Hot 9 perform at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 6. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Henry Butler, Steven Bernstein, and the Hot 9 perform at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 6. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Henry Butler, Steven Bernstein, and the Hot 9 perform at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 6. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Henry Butler, Steven Bernstein, and the Hot 9 perform at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 6. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

That’s Walter Wolfman Washington, playin’ the blues.  Yeah, we get to see him every single Wednesday at d.b.a, and drink Dead Guy and you probably don’t.  Sorry.  Wait–no, we’re not.

Walter Wolfman Washington performs at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 6. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Walter Wolfman Washington performs at Jazz Fest 2014 on Day 6. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

We first saw Jonathon Boogie Long at the Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, another of our favorite outdoor events.  The show essentially remains the same, and that isn’t a complaint.  We love straight-ahead power blues, sans all the orchestration, hooplah, brass, and B.S., and that’s exactly what Jonathon delivers.  To the crowd’s delight, he spends a good chunk of the show playing out in the audience.  And with songs like “There are ashes in my ass hairs and I don’t even smoke”, this guy easily hits our top-10 list for dirty blues.  Check him out!

Jonathon Boogie Long performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Jonathon Boogie Long performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Jazz Fest favorite Amanda Shaw on the Acura Stage–and mumblings from the audience:  “I think she’s about 20 now.  She’s been playing here for 10 Jazz Fests or so?”  “Wow, I didn’t know that.”   Close.  Here’s a take-home:  She’s 23, has been playing violin since she was 8, and has probably been to more Jazz Fests than you.  First email with correct number to info@highisomusic.com gets a free picture!

Amanda Shaw performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Amanda Shaw performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Amanda Shaw performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Amanda Shaw performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 5. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Caught a little Dumpstaphunk at Acura–wow.  We mean wow, like only James Brown coming back from the dead and giving George Clinton a zombie piggy back ride to the stage would have upped the score, wow.  Just about the only real funk show we saw at the Festival this year.  Quite a few technical problems during the performance, but the funny thing is that if you weren’t in the photo pit, you’d probably didn’t even notice.  Cable switching, all sorts of equipment hacking, but the funk just kept right on rolling without a single hiccup.  How?  It’s a NOLA thing. That’s how.  Wow.  Need a little more.

Dumpstaphunk performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Dumpstaphunk performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Dumpstaphunk performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Dumpstaphunk performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Dumpstaphunk performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Dumpstaphunk performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Trombone Shorty returned to close out Jazz Fest again with slightly less energy than last year’s show.  We had to bail out before the end because of the incredibly intense angular sun (and the blisters were getting pretty angry, too, after 7 solid days) but not until after an amazing demonstration of circular breathing–we probably weren’t the only ones ready to 9-1-1 to save Shorty’s life if he collapsed. All in all, a great end to Jazz Fest 2014.

Trombone Shorty performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Trombone Shorty performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Trombone Shorty performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Trombone Shorty performs at Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA on Day 7. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

First Weekend:

Nayo Jones, singing in Kermit’s set on the Congo Square stage.  Beautiful voice.  Stage presence.  Gorgeous.  Fantastic hair.   A photographer’s (and music lover’s) dream.  Watch it, Kermit Ruffins–she’s a show stealer!

 

Nayo Jones performing on Day 2 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Nayo Jones performing on Day 2 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Boz Scaggs’ show at the Blues Tent was standing room only back to the rear fence, and even the fence was having “personal space” problems.  He left the Steve Miller Band very early on, so when you’re jamming to “Jet Airliner” while flyin’ like an eagle (some were), you aren’t listening to Boz Scaggs, but he’s had plenty of solo success since then.   Lido Shuffle, anyone?

Boz Scaggs performing to a beyond standing room only crowd on Day 2 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Boz Scaggs performing to a beyond standing room only crowd on Day 2 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Public Enemy is not afraid of the 70-200mm.  And we’re not afraid of anything, so there.  Unfortunately, the  show was a bit of a jumble.  Flavor Flav was on tap, always a visual treat, but overall the show didn’t hang together very well, sounding very much like everyone doing their own thing, instead of doing their own thing together.

Public Enemy performing on Day 1 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Public Enemy performing on Day 1 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Chris Thomas King’s show this year was a return to more traditional blues.  We like all his stuff (check out “Mississippi  KKKrossroads” from 2002’s “Dirty South Hip Hop Blues” for a sample of his hip hop crossover stuff: an interesting take on Robert Johnson meets the KKK via Nina Simone’s Mississippi Goddamn) but it was awesome to see a straight-ahead blues set.  Chris is a poster child for musical prodigy, playing just about every instrument on earth, but we’ll take some guitar-heavy blues any day.  Never the same show twice–CTK should be on your permanent must-see list.

Chris Thomas King performing on Day 1 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Chris Thomas King performing on Day 1 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

The littlest Brass-a-Holic.  Watch out, M.C. Lyte.  We love the Brass-a-Holics–probably our favorite brass band (currently).  But the live show is absolutely essential–their recordings come nowhere near the mark.  Check ’em out, whether you’ve listened to the recent CD or not.

Brassaholics Brass Band performing on Day 1 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Brassaholics Brass Band performing on Day 1 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

One of the dancers (time to go back to the gym, right?) at Big Freedia’s bounce set.  Couldn’t touch the “ass chariot” shot from a few Jazz Fests ago (reproduced in our earlier article on Jazz Fest Favorites), but still a fantastic show.  Thanks Big Freedia!

Big Freedia's bounce set on Day 2 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Big Freedia’s bounce set on Day 2 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Grammy Winner Terrance Simien–if you think you’re having more fun at Jazz Fest than he is, well, you’re mistaken.  One of the liveliest zydeco monsters in the area, hailing from Mallet, Louisiana–betcha can’t find it!

Terrance Simien performing on Day 2 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Terrance Simien performing on Day 2 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Dee-1, our favorite One Man Army.  Unafraid to challenge the bullshitters of hip hop, call them on their misogynous ways, or well, sell out at all.  How rare that is.

Dee-1 performing on Day 1 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Dee-1 performing on Day 1 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

A spray paint artist’s spontaneous rendering of James Booker.

A James Booker spray painting at Jazz Fest 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

A James Booker spray painting at Jazz Fest 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Rodriguez, playing in the Blues Tent on Day 3.  Quirky, slightly rude to the other players in the band, and well, let’s just change quirky to strange.  But it’s been a long, very hard journey.  Did your house cost $50?

Rodriguez performs on Day 3 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Rodriguez performs on Day 3 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

North Mississippi Allstars on the Acura stage (and in the crowd).  This was one of the best acts of the day (Hi, Lightnin’!) and in hindsight, one of the best of the entire festival.

The North Mississippi Allstars perform on Day 3 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

The North Mississippi Allstars perform on Day 3 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

The North Mississippi Allstars perform on Day 3 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

The North Mississippi Allstars perform on Day 3 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Chocolate Milk, gone from the scene for a (really–like 1983) long time, but now back (at least for Jazz Fest?) and throwing down some New Orleans-style funk on the Congo Square stage (combined with a few middle-aged acrobatics demonstrations!).  Very different from The Meters, and worth a listen for an alternative take on the whole funk scene of the 70s.

Chocolate Milk performs on Day 3 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Chocolate Milk performs on Day 3 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Chris Smithers doing some authentic country / blues in the Blues Tent, and a welcome relief from manufactured, “wow I can turn this knob, $dude$” music (No point in naming names.  You either get the drift or we end up in an argument with no winners).   100% Wanker-free.  It’s our favorite musical label, and we use it like cayenne–absolutely whenever we can and absolutely nowhere else.

Chris Smither performs on Day 3 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Chris Smither performs on Day 3 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

And Meschiya Lake on the Sheraton Fais Do-Do stage:

Meschiya Lake performs on Day 3 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Meschiya Lake performs on Day 3 of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

All our 2014 favorites to date–this gallery fills up as we empty the queue:

One Response to “Jazz Fest 2014!”

  1. […] The withering heat of summer is past and festivals once again abound.  We’ve particularly looking forward to the Blues and BBQ Festival and Voodoo Music Experience, both of which have great lineups this–but that’s for our next article.  For now, an excuse to spend a few minutes (or hours) flipping through our comprehensive visual retrospective of Jazz Fest 2014–we’ve put up the entire photo archive after a (huge) editing job.   Prior coverage of Jazz Fest 2014 can be found here. […]

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