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Bobby Love and the Market Cafe Jazz Band
"Back Home in New Orleans"

SONO 1072
$15.00 + $3.00 S&H


Back Home in New Orleans
Bobby Love & The Market Cafe Jazz Band
Featuring Andy K.
1. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
2. Frankie & Johnny
3. Summertime
4. What's The Case Ace?
5. NOLA My Home
6. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
7. Blueberry Hill
8. St. Louis Blues
9. What Have I Done?
10. When My Dreamboat Comes Home
11. Up A Lazy River
12. While We Danced At The Mardi Gras
13. Who Dat,We Dat!
14. Bourbon Street Parade
15. Wonderful World

Bobby Love, lead vocalist and keyboard player for The Market Cafe Jazz Band, is a New Orleans musician through and through. While his mother, Doris Armstrong, passed away when he was only four, the musically inclined youth was raised by both his aunt and his grandmother on his mother’s side of the family -- all of whom are distantly related to New Orleans’ greatest jazz legend, Louis Armstrong.

And when Bobby Love was only eight years old, his clarinet-playing uncle, John Armstrong, offered to give him lessons, but the strong-willed boy wanted to learn the trumpet -- traditionally the lead instrument in a New Orleans jazz band, and a much more difficult instrument to master.

But the youth’s trumpet playing eventually won him a place in two of the city’s finest marching high school bands: first at the Catholic-run St. Augustine’s and then at Booker T. Washington, a public school that contained a large auditorium used for both school and commercial performances.

Bobby Love’s formal education earned him a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1970 from Southern University (after serving with the United States Air Force Band of the South), while his musical education continued through the 1960s and 1970s in two of the city’s then-hottest bands: Deacon John & The Ivories and Deacon John & The Electric Soul Train.

Before long, Bobby Love broke out on his own, and by the beginning of the 1980s he’d left New Orleans for a decade-and-a-half stay in Los Angeles, where he served as bandleader for soul singer Johnnie Taylor (“Who’s Makin’ Love?” and “Disco Lady”) while performing under his own name and simultaneously working as a much-sought-after studio musician.

Immediately on returning to New Orleans in the mid-1990s, the effervescent musician and stage performer suffered a major auto-accident injury, but soon was up and running with his own record label, Uptown Rulers, D.T., which released nearly a dozen well-received CDs based mainly in New Orleans’ rich R&B tradition.

Then, along with many thousands of others, Bobby was displaced by the massive flooding in 2005 that followed Hurricane Katrina. Having sought refuge in Houston, Texas, he began performing with The Bobby Love Band throughout Texas and parts of the South. He also renewed a friendship with Sound of New Orleans owner and producer Gary Edwards, likewise living in Houston in temporary, post-Katrina exile.

After returning to New Orleans in 2008, Bobby Love learned the Market Cafe Jazz Band was looking for a keyboard player and lead vocalist. So he dusted off his repertoire of traditional New Orleans jazz numbers and began reworking several of the old numbers with a more modern sound.

Listen, for example, to the Latin-jazz treatment that enlivens the medley of “St. Louis Blues” and “Goin’ to Kansas City”, or the solidly in-the-groove arrangement, complete with flute solo, that transforms the time-honored favorite “Summertime.” The traditional blues “Frankie and Johnny” receives a similar updating, both in the lyrics (“Frankie got everything for Johnny, from his Mercedes to his Italian clothes”) and in the tune’s upbeat arrangement.

“Back when I used to play this music on Bourbon Street,” Bobby Love explains, “they called it Dixieland jazz. But to me, it’s just New Orleans-style music, which is supposed to make you happy, and make you want to get up and dance.”

It’s just that New Orleans music tradition that continues to make the Crescent City a special place to visit. So lean back and put your feet up or, like the man says, get up and dance. Either way, you’re guaranteed a healthy portion of New Orleans’ premier export: music that lifts your spirits, and puts a smile on your face.

So enjoy! -Roger Hahn

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