Highlights from the 2002 JVC Newport Jazz Festival
Forty-one years of touring and the Hall looks younger than ever. With the support of second generation Hall-er Ben Jaffe on bass and Joe Lastie, Jr. on drums, the New Orleans legends showed how it was done on their second set of the day. Taking their lead from their elders (now represented by laid back trumpet wizard/vocalist John Brunios), the Band ripped through their classic rabble-rouser "Tiger Rag" and put a new shine on Benny Goodman’s "String of Pearls." Dr. Michael White raised the roof with his high clarinet solos and pianist Rickie Monie kept the crowd smiling with his over-the-shoulder gazes and fancy key work. Shaking the spit out of his plunger, trombonist Lucien Barbarin raunched into the Bayou boudoir theme of "Sugar Blues" (an apparent variation on "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?"). A fleet-fingered and rapid-wristed solo by animated banjoist Don Vappie led into a hand-clapping "Mardi Gras" revival under the tent that soon transformed the audience into a wildly applauding Congo Square conga line.