"The Drop" Live from the Grammy Museum (Los Angeles, CA - August 25, 2015)
Dee Dee Bridgewater and Irvin Mayfield, Jr. are interviewed by the Grammy Museums' Scott Goldman. Later they are joined by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Ensemble to perform selections from their latest release, "Dee Dee's Feathers" (Recorded August 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA)
Listen to the "All Things Considered" interview here...
From African drums in Congo Square to raucous brass bands second-lining in the streets, jazz is the soundtrack of New Orleans. The history and spirit of the Crescent City can be summoned through thousands of now-classic songs.
That's the idea behind Dee Dee Bridgewater's new album, Dee Dee's Feathers. Accompanied by Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Bridgewater takes listeners on a musical journey through New Orleans.
One of the quintessentially NOLA songs on the album is "Big Chief," a tune composed by Earl King and made famous by Professor Longhair. The song is ubiquitous around Mardi Gras time, but Bridgewater thinks she may be the first woman to take it on.
As she tells NPR's Arun Rath, she had another well-known New Orleans musician in mind when she tracked the song: "When we were recording it, I said, 'I'm gonna sing like Dr. John!'" she exclaims.
The result does sound remarkably like a higher-register version of the musician known to his friends as Mac Rebennack. But when she listened back to the recording, Bridgewater decided she wanted Dr. John himself to sing on the track, too.
"That would be kind of a blessing for me, for this whole project," she recalls thinking. "So I called, and I used my best little-girl voice. I was like, 'Mac, I'm doing "Big Chief," and it would really be wonderful if you would come and lay down some vocals with me.' ... And he said, 'Aw, baby, I gotta go to the dentist tomorrow.' I said, 'But I'm gonna be here for three days! Please?' 'Okay, baby.' And so we got him to come in."
"The Making of 'Dee Dee's Feathers'" with Irvin Mayfield, Jr. and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Filmed in New Orleans, LA in 2014. Pre-Order the album on iTunes or Amazon.
Dee Dee Bridgewater delivers the 2015 Berklee College of Music Commencement Address. Shortly after, she receives her Honorary Doctorate of Music. Honorary Doctorates were also conferred to the illustrious Julio Iglesias, the incomparable Harvey Mason and legendary label head, Doug Morris. Congratulations graduates and Dr. Bridgewater!