Meet my uncle Peck (short for Preston). He was a good and spirited guy who could never be accused of being burdened by ambition. But he loved his city of New Orleans and its traditions, and would go on for hours telling me about Mardi Gras. This tune - “Uncle Peck” - springs from these vivid memories.
Drumming on “Uncle Peck” is a guy from Lafayette, Louisiana who knows a thing or two about the New Orleans “second line” style. The infamous John Wooton nails it down on the track. Trombonist Matt Hall (from Kingsport, Tennessee) contributes beautiful bursts of southern energy, and trumpeter Jon Faddis
delivers an amazing solo that sends it over the fence. The ensemble is rounded out by an extraordinary group of New York musicians: Ralph LaLama (tenor sax), Gary Smulyan (baritone sax); and from Buenos Aires - Miguel Merango (piano), Mauricio Dawid (bass), and Fernando Martinez (also on drums)
My mother, who was a southern gal, had a hard time adjusting when she came to live in New Jersey where I grew up. My Dad made serious attempts to make our place feel more like New Orleans. He built a modest French Quarter type courtyard (including gas lamps and wrought iron railings).
Grandma Edna lived with us, and she would cook up shrimp gumbo all the time. That helped a lot.
He even had Aunt Jewel send up real Spanish moss in the summers that we hung from the sycamore tree in front.
But I can't say that Mom ever really adjusted. She did, in fact, know what it means to Miss New Orleans.
Then, of course, there was the New Orleans music that was listened to - mostly Al Hirt, Pete Fountain and Louis Prima