New Orleans Jazz Vipers,
Hope You're Comin' Back
(Word of Mouth, 2006)

There are those in our big country that have never traveled farther than their own little town or village. They are born, grow up, maybe marry, have children and meet their end. Often these people remain remarkably incurious about the larger world that exists outside their own. This lack of curiosity may be something that suits many of us, but such people can view life as through a glass darkly. With the overwhelming coverage afforded to global events, such as horrific hurricanes named Katrina, Rita and Wilma that occurred in 2005 on the Gulf Coast of the United States and resulted in the obliteration of towns, lives and neighborhoods, it is difficult to imagine that there are those that choose to remain ignorant of other people with other lives that share their world. But, as the late Kurt Vonnegut would say, "So it goes." And it does.

Neighborhoods are really what life is all about. New Orleans was a city of neighborhoods, just as any other town in any other place in our part of the universe. All of us have a memory of growing up somewhere and of a place and time that will never be recaptured.

It is a joy to share the New Orleans Jazz Vipers latest CD, Hope You're Comin' Back as a way for you and others who don't live in Louisiana or other areas affected by hurricanes to hear that life goes on in the Big Easy and lots of spots in the vicinity. The CD itself is a joy to listen to, with a big band sound and the ready thrill of believing you are sitting in a juke joint, sipping your favorite beverage and thinking that life can go on forever. With such songs as "Night and Day" and "Gettin' Some Fun Out of Life," among others, this band knows how to put across their message that life does indeed go on. The band is composed of seven members, including Joe Braun on saxophone, John Rodli on acoustic guitar and Robert Snow on acoustic bass. Neti Vaan, a violinist, as well as trumpeter Charlie Fardella and bass saxophonist Tom Saunders, round out the septuplet, and all of them have managed to find a voice and sound that outclasses a lot of bands that should have retired a long time ago. Their repertoire includes music by Billie Holliday, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and others. And like a neighborhood band in any place in America or elsewhere that jazz rules, this group relies upon the tunes, the tones, and the music, baby, to sell its audience the sounds and feelings that almost died in the late summer of 2005.

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review by
Ann Flynt

21 July 2007

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