Refried Confusion Is Making Itself Clear August 7, 2010Posted by Mark Folse in 504, Jazz, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Pops, Satchmo Fest
Well, once again your vision of us as a people at once lazy and shiftless and then again prone to party a bit too much will be confused by this weekend’s Satchmo Fest, during which we will drag ourselves out into the 110 degree heat index, temperature and humidity both well up in the nineties, to stand on blinding white concrete and infernally black macadam in this egg-baking heat and drink beer and dance in tribute to our native son and the music he helped give birth to.
If you wonder why we would do this consider this: did not your parents and grandparents drag themselves out to gyrate and shout in an sweltering August revival tent or to sit Quaker still in their best black all in the days long before air conditioning? There are certain rituals which must be observed for the saving of one’s soul, and in New Orleans a music festival–even one scheduled in the weatherman’s perfect ninth circle of summer hell–is one such opportunity to make a joyous noise and shake off the dust under our feet for a testimony against those who think all this foolishness.
Now, some of you may go out on an August day and stand bare chested with a beer over a blistering grill fire or take yourselves out in your Clorox-bottle plastic boats, lathered in sun screen and sipping again on that beer when sensible people might go to the movies for the cool and the dark, so don’t be too quick to judge. The price of that starter fluid and the gas in the outdoor may be the death of all our oysters and crabs, an event tantamount to the rest of America loosing its beef and white wheat bread for an indefinite period, but we are a faithful people, a hopeful people, a people of the book who have ingested all of the messages even if we don’t believe. We will walk through that desert for the promise, try to love our neighbors, and when things go wrong, well, Insha’Allah. Nothing to do but get up and do the next thing on the list, and at this moment Satchmo Fest is it.
Oh, hell, don’t listen to me. Let Ella and the fellas tell it. If that’s not heaven calling in that opening trumpet solo I don’t care. I’m following it wherever it leads.