What better way to kick off another potentially physically debilitating allergy season in Albuquerque than with an evening of jazz originating in and inspired by the Crescent City? Officially opening the Outpost's 2005 Spring Season, New Orleans-based musicians Tom McDermott and Evan Christopher are happy and more than capable to oblige.
McDermott is a breathtaking pianist who emerged on the front-end of the Scott Joplin revival, and cites New Orleans pianists James Booker, Professor Longhair and Dr. John as musical influences strong enough to inspire a move from his native St. Louis in the early '80s. Since then, he's explored the Louisiana piano tradition on a handful of records that bear his name, as well as through live performance.
McDermott's latest release, Danza (STR), further explores the long, colorful and rich history of New Orleans jazz, featuring the pianist alongside young lion clarinetist and fellow New Orleans transplant Evan Christopher. Together, the duo stretch their musical legs while coursing through a varied array of tango, bouncing ragtime, jovial waltzes and, as they put it, “a little jazz.”
While the recording itself is a helluva fine listen, it's probably not too far off the mark to comment that it won't quite compare to the live show. McDermott and Christopher should prove to be a dazzling season-opening combo—one that'll make you forget all about the itching and sneezing of springtime in Albuquerque.