Free on the Inside: Jazz Fest eat your heart out

I’m astonished that the music press, especially the Southern-based press, haven’t given this concert any mention — at least so far as I can determine. It has the most distinguished of lineups one can imagine and is exquisitely performed — Jamie Davis, Scotty Barnhart, Dennis Wilson, Ken Miller, Greg Errico (drummer with The Family Stone!!!!), Wycliffe Gordon, Lady Bianca, Charles McNeal, Roger Glenn, Arnett Hayes, and Topsy Chapman (misspelt as Tracy on the album) and the Angola Inmate Choir. A lineup such as this would be a dream ticket at Jazz Fest. There is no youtube footage of the show but if you are a fan of that wonderful and powerful mix of big band, jazz, gospel and funk, this album won’t disappoint. Inferring from Governor Burl Cain’s brief remarks, there was a cockup on the organizational front: the Rodeo Arena could have been filled. This said, the controlled space of the Chapel has made for an exceptionally good recording. And by the way, if like me you think that Lou Rawls was an infinitely more talented vocalist than Sinatra (controversial I know), then Jamie Davis really is your man. (To Sinatra’s credit he said that Rawls had “the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game”). Please support this small musician run independent label.

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