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Monday, April 26, 2010

Jazz Fest - Sunday, April 25

Posted By on Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 1:18 AM

Jazz Fest picked up Sunday where it left off Saturday - with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on the Gentilly Stage with Jim James of My Morning Jacket (which had played a gig together at Preservation Hall in between). Preservation Hall was leading this session and played many of the songs on its February release titled Preservation. Some of the guest artists on the disc include Terence Blanchard and James, who joined the band on stage for a rousing version of "St. James Infirmary."

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After the disappointing Simon and Garfunkel performance, rumors swirled that the rest of their 12-date tour had been cancelled. Though as of Sunday night, tickets are still available online. Of some of the other acts with aging vocalists, Sunday's roster had a better day. Former Louis Prima sidekick (and wife) Keely Smith could still belt out tunes like "Sunny Side of the Street." She's not as bouncy as when the just out her teens singer headlined with Vegas, but she's still got plenty of spirit, and reportedly was witty enough to make interviewer Nick Spitzer blush.

Levon Helm kept a steady stream of guests on stage - Dr. John, Ivan Neville, Allen Toussaint - but when he sang he showed that he still has it.

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And Anita Baker still has a great voice, though not many new songs. She stuck mostly to material off Rapture and Giving You the Best That I Got, but anyone who enjoys singing as much as she does is going to do just fine. One of the more amusing scenes during her Congo Square set was offered by the pair of sign language translators, who both offered not just the sign translations, but all the feeling as well. If Anita could drag out the words "sweet love" they could hold the signs just as slowly, and with a little shoulder sway and nod get all of the emotion as well.

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