The Soul Rebels Celebrate Their Hip-Hop Roots at the Joy

The Soul Rebels are the needle that has successfully risen to the top of New Orleans’ massive brass band haystack with a simple formula: New York hip-hop collaboration. Over the past few years, they’ve performed with the likes of Nas, Prodigy, GZA and DMX. These legends came up spitting over boom-bap 808s and chopped samples, and they've found a home on the band’s snare-based grooves and horn harmonies.

Jon Batiste, Stay Human Keep it Loose at Jazz Fest

After a soft Friday at Jazz Fest that included Trey Anastasio jamming (not me), Nas not giving The Soul Rebels their due (a show that has sat worse with me as time passes) and Harry Connick Jr. reminding people that he’s an entertainer (who outside of a casino values that? Who wants their musicians to be jacks of all trades?), Saturday made me happy and confirmed that I wasn’t simply grumpy.

The Music That Made Me Happy in 2015

I got out of the year-end list business when I realized too much music came out that I didn’t hear for me to feel like my list had much authority. Time, temperament and mailing lists conspire to keep my listening from being broad enough to think that my Best Of choices might actually be among the best. Instead, I’ve reframed the question to talk about the music I’m happiest that I heard, the shows I’m happiest that I saw, and the books I’m happiest I read this year. To me, that’s what matters, and I made it by memory.

Pages