Thursday, May 18, 2023

the last book I ever read (The Wild Tchoupitoulas (33 1/3) by Bryan Wagner, excerpt two)

from The Wild Tchoupitoulas (33 1/3) by Bryan Wagner

Jolly became even more important to his nephews after their father died from a heart attack and their mother was killed in a car accident. All four brothers have conveyed how Jolly became a spiritual guide during these years as they all continued to struggle in their own ways. When Jolly called them together to record an album, they listened. Charles flew home from New York right away. The idea for The Wild Tchoupitoulas came together quickly. The Meters were still under contract to Allen Toussaint and Marshall Sehorn who made the deal with Island Records and booked the group into Sea-Saint Studio. Jolly broght his arrangments into the studio. The album was done in a few takes, with little strain, everyone recording in the same room, an unusual and deliberate setup for a state-of-the-art multitrack studio, with the Nevilles dubbing heir vocals at the end. Everyone on the album was seasoned. Jolly was sixty-one. Second Chief Norman Bell was in his late fifties. Art was forty. The rest of the Nevilles and Meters were in their thirties. For Jolly’s nephews, it was an album that expressed traditions they had known all their lives, traditions they had sung on stoops and chanted from the stands at high school basketball games before they moved into clubs and studios to start music careers that would only reach their zenith in the wake of the project that Jolly had imagined for them.

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