Irvin Mayfield & Ellis Marsalis: Yesterday
Love Songs, Ballads and Standards (Basin Street 0405)
Neal Caine (bass) Jaz Sawyer (drums).
Composed by Lennon/McCartney.
Recorded: Museum of Art, New Orleans, June 2004
Rating: 88/100 (learn more)
Paul McCartney's melody always sounds plaintive, but especially so when you know the story behind this track. Mayfield's session came close to being destroyed in the midst of Hurricane Katrina. But he preserved the original mixes on his iPod. Yet a larger tragedy loomed: the trumpeter lost his father, Irvin Mayfield, Sr., in the floods following Katrina. This talented musician and jazz educator has channeled his grief into rebuilding efforts, including an ambitious plan to help New Orleans' devastated library system. His recording, dedicated to Mayfield Sr. and the other victims of Katrina, is a moving tribute by an artist who has done more than almost any other jazz player of his generation for his home town. And how fitting that he is accompanied by Ellis Marsalis, the great patriarch of the New Orleans jazz revival of recent decades.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia