|Al Hirt Live at Dan's Pier 600
might be sick of our constantly wailing "You shoulda been there", but
since not only has the era left us behind, the town itself has almost
been wiped off the map. So "you shoulda been there" takes on an
entirely new and poignant meaning.
We have tried to provide you the opportunities to hear the sounds of authentic New Orleans jazz live from the greats who made the clubs of the 1950's thrive, as well as allow you to hear some of the great musicians of that time in their various studio recordings (James Davis, Mardi Gras Parade Music).
One of the kings of the latter period (1960's and beyond) was undoubtedly Al Hirt. His blazing technique and warm personality endeared him to the locals, tourists and the nation as a whole when he took his music to the Pop scene.
What follows is a selection of cuts done in the mid-sixties from Dan's Pier 600, an excellent jazz club on Bourbon Street right across from Chris Owens' strip club. Al played there until he got really commercially famous, then he bought the place and headlined there for a while.
I used to bitch about "live" recordings wherein you could hear lots of audience chatter, tinkling glasses, laughter and the like, but as I grow older and realize that not only are most of these revelers most likely dead, and the opportunity to "be there" is long gone, I can listen to the "audience ambiance" and transport myself back in time to a place where we all shoulda been...
Wish I'd been there this time...