Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

285

Letters From New Orleans

By

Sign in to view read count
Letters From New Orleans
Rob Walker
Paperback; 226 pages
ISBN: 1-891053-01-9
Garrett County Press
2005

Former Texan and Greenwich Villager Rob Walker and his girlfriend, E., relocated to New Orleans in January, 2000. The former journalist and editor immediately began relating his experiences and impressions via e-mail, first to friends, then to anyone who expressed interest. Here are twenty-one letters, ending with the couple's August, 2003 departure, plus some post-Katrina musings.

Letters From New Orleans is about the culture of New Orleans, broadly speaking. Two of Walker's best chapters, for example, are on public housing and urban renewal/removal. Musically, you'll find chapters on jazz funerals (the real thing and the ones aimed at tourists), singer Michelle Shocked at the gospel tent of Jazz Fest, a show by Ernest K-Doe (singer/composer of 1961's "Mother-in-Law"), and a particularly fascinating exploration of the pedigree of "St. James Infirmary," reaching back to late 18th century Ireland.

Interestingly, at the end of a book focused on the unique aspects of New Orleans, in his post-Katrina chapter Walker considers what makes New Orleans similar to the rest of America.

If you've experienced New Orleans, no doubt something here will resonate for you. If, like me, you've never been to the Crescent City, you may still find Walker's dispatches thoughtful and entertaining. The book includes 48 black & white photos.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Good Morning Blues Book Reviews Good Morning Blues
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: January 11, 2018
Read The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums Book Reviews The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums
by Roger Crane
Published: December 19, 2017
Read Listening For The Secret: The Grateful Dead And The Politics Of Improvisation Book Reviews Listening For The Secret: The Grateful Dead And The...
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 10, 2017