Jacquimo's All-Stars

Decatur Street

October 06, 2005

It wasn't officially Jacquimo's All-Stars, but this makeshift trad jazz band didn't have a name, and they were all in the All-Stars at one point. So, for the purpose of this review, let's just call them the All-Stars.

Saxophonist Edwin Freiburg, sousaphonist Mike Biunno, snare drummer Myumi, and banjo player Stephen Smith hadn't played their instruments since Hurricane Katrina, so they decided to get the lead out by forming a spontaneous street band Thursday afternoon on Decatur Street. The All-Stars played most of their set in front of Molly's, and by 5 o' clock, they had drawn about twenty people to their sides. The small crowd encircled the band on the sidewalk and spilled out onto the street when it was safe.

The band started out with an audience of one, but Freiberg's sax easily cut through eerily quiet post-hurricane air. It was just a matter of time before passers-by got interested in the sound. The All-Stars didn't have to twist the audience's arm. The modern standards they played are familiar to any New Orleanian--"Iko Iko," "Big Chief Pt. 2," and "Go to the Mardi Gras," to name a few. This was good-time, it's great to be back with friends in New Orleans-kinda music. There was a definite sense of community at the gathering. The band and the audience talked between songs, and Myumi stopped playing her snare to reunite with friends a few times. Every once and a while, Freiburg yelled "New Orleans!" high in the air to nobody in particular. It was like a battle cry. As if to say, "You didn't get rid of us so easy."

The band was happy to play again, and the audience was happy to hear music again. It was the recipe for a good time. Freiburg talked about the gig in between sets.

"We're infusing the bricks with more live music. It feels absoulutely fabulous--to breathe the air that's just as funky as it was before--it's a very cool feeling."

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