The French Quarter
The past three days have been quite the adventure. Before leaving Texas, we filmed the Brass, Rhythm, & Reeds Big Band right across the street from NASA in Clearlake, Texas at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. They played many big band classics, which all of us really enjoyed. Unfortunately, we didn't have much more than a half hour after the set to do interviews, however they were all very vital.
Our next leg was a seven-hour stretch from Texas to Louisiana, and for most of it we drove through a brutal thunderstorm. Thankfully, we passed through it without any trouble.
We arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday (5/12/12) at 6:00 A.M local time and we were all as groggy and lethargic as we've ever been. There wasn't much if any time to sleep before we were scheduled to do another interview.
Before leaving for Covington (which is across the water on the twenty-five mile Never Ending Bridge), we had breakfast at Clover Grill in the French Quarter, and we strolled down by the water for a little while to kill some time.
Robert Seago welcomed us to his home who was accompanied by his wife, Judy. We spent a couple hours interviewing Robert about his playing days and his love and his soul for music, specifically the "Foxtrot."
The crew and I agreed that Robert was one of the most emotional interviews of our trip, and that's where we started to see the story of our film unfold in front of our eyes as he had all of us nearly in tears.
Back in the French Quarter, we ate Po-Boys for lunch, hung out at a cafe to archive footage, and checked into a hotel named, The Royal St. Charles, which was paid for by my mother's friend Krysten Rudy.
The following day was a busy one as we filmed four bands; one on Bourbon st., and three others on Frenchmen st. The most fruitful band was the Perdido Jazz Band led by Jim Thornton on trumpet who were playing songs from as early as 1907. Billy Robeson (who we interviewed after the show) sat in with the group and chimed in with his clarinet solos.
In the morning we left New Orleans for Nashville, Tennessee and arrived around three in the afternoon. We arrived at my grandmother's house and washed up before we filmed our next performance.
The Nashville Jazz Orchestra consisted of many wonderful musicians (led by Jim Williamson) that played a much more punchy and contemporary big band sound than any of the bands we had covered.