Blue Lu Barker

Live at New Orleans Jazz Festival

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This 1998 CD has the last joint appearance of singer Blue Lu Barker and singer-guitarist Danny Barker. Although Danny would continue performing until his death in 1994, Blue Lu (who made it to 1998) was appearing at what would be her final concert. Recorded at the 1989 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, this set is loose and ragged but quite charming. Blue Lu, 75 at the time and coming back from an illness, sounds quite old but saucy on her five selections which include "Georgia Grind," "Don't You Feel My Leg" and the humorous "Bring the Greenbacks When You Call." The remaining five numbers put Danny Barker (who was 80) in the spotlight and his humor and interesting outlook on life definitely come through on such tunes as "Save the Bones for Henry Jones" and a classic rendition of "St. James Infirmary." The backup band (trumpeter Greg Stafford, clarinetist David Grillier, trombonist Frank Naundorf, pianist Walter Lewis, bassist Edmond Foucher and drummer Shannon Powell) get opportunities to romp a bit on the closing "Bourbon Street Parade" and "Second Line." There are faltering moments here and there on the very spontaneous outing but the charm of Danny and Blue Lu Barker make this a historic set worth savoring.

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