The Blue Book of Storyville


The Blue Book of Storyville

(10 customer reviews)
5.00 out of 5 based on 10 customer ratings


2019 – LJCD22
Award winning Créole Banjoist vocalist, considered one of the best banjoists in the history of New Orleans.

DON VAPPIE – Banjo/voice

SKU: LJCD22 Categories: ,





Vappie shows the importance of the banjo in New Orleans music and its often overlooked relevance in jazz
it’s about time someone showed the jazz world what the banjo really can do
Mr Vappie is a born storyteller – an urban griot, who has lived the music and has consigned all of it to the centre of his being
Music that’s languid and lively and Creole in character
Don Vappie is not only a solid banjo virtuoso but also a beautiful singer
Beautifully recorded, you can hear right around the instruments, … Gorgeous!
jazz virtuosity with buoyant blues riffs and a splash of Caribbean rhythms
Do you want to travel without leaving your home? Don Vappie & Jazz Créole gives you the opportunity
Lejazzetal’s reputation goes before it, this new Don Vappie album serves to reaffirm it
The banjo has a Jimi Hendrix
a superb musician and improviser


O belo som do banjo
Desde já aviso que só vale a pena continuar a ler estas linhas se gostar das sonoridades crioulas de Nova Orleães e de banjo. Eu gosto, de maneira que me deliciei com “The Blue Book Of Storyville”, de Don Vappie, personagem exuberante, exímio tocador de banjo, vocalista cheio de tiques locais, ao lado dos Jazz Creóle, um trio constituído para esta ocasião e que integra nomes como Dave Kelbie, na guitarra (e produção), Sebastien Girardot, no baixo, e David Horniblow, no clarinete. Cabe aqui recordar que a tradição musical de Nova Orleães está ligada ao nascimento e crescimento do jazz. Neste disco, estão canções crioulas originais (algumas no tradicional francês da região), standards de jazz e alguns originais do próprio Vappie, cuja educação musical vem aliás do jazz – começou pela guitarra e pelo baixo, e só depois se dedicou ao banjo, muito influenciado por um dos grandes músicos dos anos 40 de Danny Baker, um dos históricos tocadores de banjo e contadores de canções de Nova Orleães. Don Vappie pesquisou para este disco a música cajun, inspirações do Caribe, canções tradicionais, temas popularizados por Louis Armstrong ou Sidney Bechet, por exemplo. É difícil destacar um tema, de entre os 17 deste disco, mas o meu preferido é “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”. Vappie mostra bem a importância do banjo na música de Nova Orleães e a sua relevância, muitas vezes esquecida, no jazz.

The beautiful sound of the banjo
I already warn you that it is only worth continuing to read these lines if you like the Creole sounds of New Orleans and banjo. I like, in a way that I was delighted with “The Blue Book Of Storyville”, by Don Vappie, exuberant character, excellent banjo player, vocalist full of local tics, alongside Jazz Creóle, a trio formed for this occasion and that integrates names like Dave Kelbie, on guitar (and production), Sebastien Girardot, on bass, and David Horniblow, on clarinet. It is worth remembering that the musical tradition of New Orleans is linked to the birth and growth of jazz. On this album, there are original Creole songs (some in the traditional French of the region), jazz standards and some originals by Vappie himself, whose musical education comes from jazz – he started with the guitar and bass, and only later dedicated himself to the banjo, very influenced by one of the great 1940s musicians Danny Barker, also one of New Orleans’s historic banjo players and songsters. Don Vappie researched Cajun music, Caribbean inspirations, traditional songs, themes popularized by Louis Armstrong or Sidney Bechet, for example. It is difficult to highlight a theme, among the 17 of this album, but my favorite is “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”. Vappie shows the importance of the banjo in New Orleans music and its often overlooked relevance in jazz.

THE OBSERVER UK 15.05.2020
Don Vappie & Jazz Créole: The Blue Book of Storyville
An easy-going singer, virtuoso of the banjo and larger-than life character, Don Vappie is as New Orleans as they come. His mixed-race Creole ancestors were living in the city before Napoleon sold it to the US in 1803. A century later, Creoles, still speaking their own version of French, accounted for many of the city’s early jazz musicians, and Vappie (originally Vapaille) is making sure nobody forgets any of it. Not that they’d want to after experiencing this lively collection of traditional Creole songs, old jazz standards and Vappie originals.
To begin with there’s that inimitable New Orleans rhythm. It’s not always the same pattern, but it has what Jelly Roll Morton (another Creole) called the “Spanish tinge”. With no percussion, there’s a delicacy about it here too. There are just three in the accompanying band: Dave Kelbie (guitar), Sébastien Girardot (bass) and David Horniblow (clarinet), whose bright tone and fluid style make him a perfect partner for Vappie. Their duet playing in the instrumental numbers, such as Couleur de Creole, is simply brilliant. And it’s about time someone showed the jazz world what the banjo really can do.

Don Vappie & Jazz Créole: The Blue Book of Storyville
Don Vappie is one of the best practitioners of traditional Creole banjo playing and his mind holds a vast repository of information about the history, the songs and the traditions of Créole culture across the vast diaspora. On his new album, The Blue Book of Storyville, Vappie distills everything he has learned into a 17-song collection that features well-known traditional jazz tunes, obscure titles, traditional Créole songs from the Caribbean and three outstanding originals.
The album opens with “Eh La Bas,” a call-and-response favorite popularized by Danny Barker. From the first strummed chords on his banjo, followed by the stellar clarinet work of David Horniblow, the steady rhythm guitar of Dave Kelbie (he also produced the album) and the double bass of Sebastien Giradot, the listener immediately knows Vappie has a winning album on his hands.
Despite so much focus on the musicology associated with traditional musical forms, this music is inherently joyful. You can hear it in Vappie’s singing voice especially when he is singing in French; you can hear it in the exuberance of the clarinet and in the trilling banjo solos and crisp lead lines that populate the album.
The songs from the Caribbean are some of the highlights of the album. The title of “La Ville Jacmel” name checks the southern Haitian city whose architecture of wrought iron influenced the world-famous style of the French Quarter. Vappie takes a stunning solo on the cut.
“Abandon,” an instrumental ballad from Martinique, opens with Horniblow’s clarinet in its mournful lower register. As the song progresses, Vappie plays an intricate single note solo that merges organically when the clarinet enters again.
This album is one you can listen to over and over and if you so choose; delve into the extensive liner notes for even more enrichment.

JAZZ JOURNAL UK 06.04.2020
Don Vappie & Jazz Créole: The Blue Book of Storyville
Raised in uptown New Orleans, in a musical family of creole origins, Vappie initially played bass and guitar in modern jazz groups, and in hotel big bands performing popular music of the day. Subsequently, he took up the banjo, working on the riverboat Natchez. He developed a keen interest in the historic contributions of the banjo, and of native creole songs, to the early development of New Orleans jazz.
A major aim of his is to extend the banjo’s customary back-line supportive role in traditional jazz into more melodically prominent activity. Vappie was particularly influenced by the 1946/7 recordings of famed creole banjoist, vocalist and raconteur Danny Baker, with clarinettist Albert Nicholas.
Technically adept and assured in various rhythmic styles, Vappie’s plangent and percussive single-string picking and neat chord fills establish a clear-cut melodic line. This is reinforced enjoyably, alongside free ensemble soloing, by well-executed harmonised or unison rapport, phrasing with Horniblow’s responsive and expressive clarinet.
Becoming something of a champion for creole culture in general, Vappie has selected here examples of Caribbean, cajun, French and Spanish traditional songs which were early basic ingredients in the great musical melting pot of cosmopolitan New Orleans music. Jazz standards associated with Kid Ory, (who started on banjo), Morton, Armstrong, Bechet and Nicholas rub shoulders with Vappie’s own interesting and creole-themed originals plus some old folk songs. His stylised spirited vocals, in English and creole French, dominate most tracks, and add enjoyable colour and interest. Buddy Bolden’s Blues is particularly well done.
In support, Vappie could not have bettered his three sidesmen. Kelbie (the record’s producer) and Giradot had previously impressed me with their fine playing in recordings by the Django A La Créole group, and David Horniblow’s vibrant and creative clarinet artistry impresses here, as in the Dime Notes album. Vappie, certainly a doyen in his specialist field, deserves much credit for his reaffirmation of the important part the banjo can still play in jazz ensemble, and of its distinguished past stretching back to Johnny St Cyr and long before.

Don Vappie & Jazz Créole: The Blue Book of Storyville
Don Vappie is one of the world’s preeminent banjoists and an out and proud New Orleans Creole (of French and African ancestry). Vappie’s roots are in New Orleans jazz but his questing nature has seen him seek out West African string players (Cheick Hamala Diabate, Bassekou Kouyate) alongside blues, Caribbean and other genres.
On this fine album Vappie leads a band featuring double bass, acoustic guitar, saxophone and clarinet. The music they make is rooted in the jazz that was created in New Orleans a century ago and they use it to explore what Vappie calls a ‘Creole vibe.’ Thus things vary from ‘Buddy Bolden’s Blues’ – a jazz standard – through the traditional Haitian song ‘La Ville Jacmel’ to the celebration of St Lucia ‘Port Bayou St John’ and ‘Abandon’, a composition by the late Martiniquais composer Loulou Boislaville. Across the album the ensemble play with ease and imagination, with Vappie singing on certain numbers. The acoustic instruments allow lots of space so that the music really breathes. Was this how the port of New Orleans sounded a century ago as musicians from across the Caribbean arrived and meshed?
Music that’s languid and lively and Creole in character.

JUST JAZZ UK 01.04.2020
Don Vappie & Jazz Créole: The Blue Book of Storyville
Don Vappie is considered as one of New Orleans best banjo players on the present New Orleans music scene. Although not one of the younger generation musicians, having been born in 1956, he is part of the what is/was known as the new generation of New Orleans jazz musicians, Dr. Michael White, Greg Stafford, Detroit Brooks, Freddie Lonzo etc.
He was born into a musical family. His great uncle was bassist Papa John Joseph and his grandmother Stella Joseph Walker played banjo and guitar, but Don didn’t immediately find jazz or the banjo as his passion. He played bass and guitar in Modern jazz ensembles and worked in popular music, hotel Big Bands, Funk and Disco, which led to frustration as sound systems and DJs replaced live music.
Don was urged by drummer Cie Frazier to explore New Orleans jazz. While working in a music store he decided to try playing the banjo, finding that if he used guitar tuning, he could adapt quite easily. Don used to take the banjo along to gigs, ending up getting a steady gig on the riverboat Natchez. The rest is now history. He now happily plays his banjo (along with his guitar and six-string banjo) on gigs in New Orleans and at festivals around the world.
On this CD, Don is happily at home in a small band situation playing a selection of tunes close to his heart, many of them old Creole tunes. He is joined by three very accomplished jazz musicians: clarinettist Dave Horniblow of Vitality Five/Dime Notes fame, who plays excellently, and on listening to this CD could be mistaken for a ‘New Orleans hometown boy’; added to that, we have support from the great rhythm guitar of Dave Kelbie and some ‘lay-it-down’ bass playing from Sebastien Girardot. In fact, if you close your eyes and listen, you would be mistaken if you thought this was recorded in New Orleans by four ‘home-grown’ musicians. A credit to them all. I’m sure that Dave Kelbie and Sebastien Girardot have absorbed many of their New Orleans ambiences from their long association with clarinettist Evan Christopher.
The CD booklet is excellently written by Nick Spitzer of Tulane University and contains small biographies of the musicians as well as information about the tunes. This is a well recorded, well executed CD, well worth the attention of New Orleans jazz fans. I can recommend purchase. It is available from Dave Kelbie at Lejazzetal Records by email: – or from their website: –

Don Vappie & Jazz Créole: The Blue Book of Storyville
History is recorded in the bones of men and women who are long since ghosts of our past. But the cultural topography upon which they have treaded can be kept alive if we can be still and listen to the stories that have been somehow, shaken and set free to roam in the wind. These are the stories of griots – ancient and modern – who heard things from the songs and stories told and sung by their ancestors. Much of this is lost, today, in the noise of everyday life, but not in New Orleans…. Still, the griots sing… the jazz griots… they sing their stories and their poems… vocally and instrumentally they make and pass on history, just like Danny Barker did not long ago and just like Don Vappie does today – spreading the gospel of music from a pulpit somewhere in New Orleans.
Mr Vappie is one of the great créolité griots of New Orleans. He embodies the quality of being Créole the highest degree just as Monk Boudreaux does. And like Monk Boudreaux he is fervent evangelist all things créolité. Mr Vappie sets stages aflame wherever he goes and he is just as magnificent on record as well. The Blue Book of Storyville is one such recording. The 17-strong, hour and almost ten-minute-long recording is brimful of masterfully delivered narratives – many of which he sings in his gloriously-cultured and highly-emotive tenor, always accompanied by his effervescent banjo. The brainchild of this performance – or at least the one who masterminded its production is the English musician, archivist and entrepreneur who just so happens to also be an ethnomusicologist and dyed-in-the-wool disciple of the Jazz tradition – whether its source is manouche or – in this case – créolité.
The repertoire is a judicious mix of originals by Mr Vappie, Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Ory, Spencer Williams and traditional music that receives Mr Vappie’s unique treatment and interpretation. Mr Vappie is a born storyteller – an urban griot, who has lived the music and has consigned all of it to the centre of his being. Each of the songs speaks to him in a highly personal manner in the epicentre of his heart from where – and with which rhythm – it is released through his lips. He is a vocal artist of the first order. His instrument is lustrous, bathed in warmth and radiantly burnished. His phrases are eloquently delivered. He sings and recites the lyric like a gentleman of extraordinary créolité nobility, accompanying himself on the banjo with unblemished virtuosity. Each and every work constitutes a new benchmark version. “Eh la Bas”, “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”, “Mischieu Banjo”, “The Roof Blues” and “Fais Dodo” are particularly unforgettable.
Mr Vappie is joined here by wonderful musicians. Mr Kelbie keeps perfect time (sometimes almost too unobtrusively) on acoustic guitar, Sébastien Giradot anchors the bass line melody and clarinetist David Horniblow soars in perfectly sculpted arcs and parabolas, often soloing in response to Mr Vappie’s voice and banjo. The best part of the performance of these musicians is that each is perfectly attuned to Mr Vappie’s vision and artistry as well as to the subtle rhythm and narrative of New Orleans créolité music. This music is also captured with an extraordinary warm acoustic. Music and engineering, indeed the whole package speaks of what historic masterpieces are made of.
Track list – 1: Eh la Bas; 2: The Blue Book of Storyville; 3: Buddy Bolden’s Blues; 4: La Ville Jacamel; 5: Port Bayou St John; 6: Mo pas laimé ca; 7: Couleur de Creole; 8: Basin Street Blues; 9: I Would if I Could; 10: Abandon; 11: C’est l’autre Cancan; 12: Red Wing; 13: Mischieu Banjo; 14: Tin Roof Blues – Créole Blues; 15: Panama; 16: Les Oignons; 17: Fais Dodo
Personnel – Don Vappie: banjo and vocals; David Horniblow: clarinet; Dave Kelbie: guitar; Sébastien Giradot: contrabass

JAZZ HOT FR 29.02.2020
Don Vappie & Jazz Créole – The Blue Book of Storyville
Don Vappie n’est plus à présenter tant comme artiste-musicien néo-orléanais que comme activiste de la cause créole. Il a déjà de nombreux disques de qualité à son actif. Celui-ci a été réalisé à Londres pour le label du guitariste Dave Kelbie qui s’est aussi consacré à Fapy Lafertin-Evan Christopher (A Summit in Paris) et au clarinettiste David Horniblow (The Complete Morton Project). Les titres originaux sont des compositions de Don Vappie, intelligemment intégrés à un programme de standards traditionnels louisianais comme «Eh la bas» qui débute le disque et que firent connaître Kid Ory, DeDe Pierce et Danny Barker entre autres. Il rappelle d’emblée que Don Vappie n’est pas seulement un solide banjo virtuose mais qu’il est aussi un chanteur délicieux. La clarinette de David Horniblow se marie bien avec un discours simple servi par une bonne sonorité. «The Blue Book of Storyville» composé par Vappie est lancé par la contrebasse toute en rondeurs de Sébastien Girardot, rejointe par la clarinette plaintive puis le chant du blues (en anglais) de l’auteur. Le Blue Book était le catalogue des charmes proposés par le quartier chaud de New Orleans, Storyville, dont le rôle dans la genèse du jazz a été amplifié. Les jazzfans sont des romantiques et ils préfèrent souvent les histoires à l’Histoire. En tout cas, nous avons là une bonne interprétation. Le fier et très talentueux créole Jelly Roll Morton a lui aussi contribué aux rêves notamment en alimentant la pure légende de Buddy Bolden. Nous trouvons donc ici l’incontournable «Buddy Bolden Blues» admirablement chanté par Don Vappie et agrémenté des inflexions bien venues de David Horniblow. Kelbie et Girardot sont aussi discrets qu’efficaces. La «touche latine» chère à Morton mais dont il n’a pas exagéré l’usage, surgit ici dès «La Ville Jacmel» chanté en créole. Vappie a aussi composé «Port Bayou St John» (latin et très virtuose), «Couleur de Créole» (genre dansant mais pas simple pour la clarinette) et «I Would if I Could» (merveilleusement swing, avec un solo de Girardot en prime). L’album, on s’en doute, fait une large place à Haïti, au Brésil (Pixinguinha, idole de Thomas L’Etienne), à la Martinique (mélancolique «Abandon» de Loulou Boislaville). Horniblow est bien parti, comme on dit, dans «Tin Roof Blues/Créole Blues». Excellent slap de Girardot dans «Panama», et il prend un bon solo qui est juste la mélodie dans «Red Wing». Nous avons aussi une bonne version balancée de «Basin Street Blues» et de plaisantes reprises de «C’est l’autre cancan» qui fut enregistré par Kid Ory (1944) et des «Oignons» imposés en France par Sidney Bechet (dès 1949).
Le livret est soigné avec de belles photos, mais on est surpris de trouver le trompettiste Papa Celestin dans la liste des banjoïstes louisianais alors que n’y figurent pas Narvin Kimball, Lawrence Marrero, Papa French et Creole George Guesnon notamment. C’est histoire d’être taquin, car ce disque va ravir les enthousiastes de «créolités».

Don Vappie & Jazz Créole – The Blue Book of Storyville
N’oublie jamais ceci : jouer du jazz, c’est comme raconter une histoire » : Est-ce que que Don Vappie avait un livre de Maxence Fermine dans ses bagages pendant l’enregistrement de ce nouveau disque ? Peut-être, ce qui est sûr, c’est que le musicien originaire de la Nouvelle-Orléans revient « The Blue Book of Storyville », un projet faisant honneur à ses origines créoles et au jazz traditionnel de la Louisiane.
Mélange de compositions originales et de standards du début du 20ème siècle rendant hommage à Spencer Williams, Jelly Roll Morton, Kerry Mills (entre autres), c’est un quartet ingénieux composé du grand Don Vappie au banjo et au chant, David Horniblow à la clarinette, Dave Kelbie à la guitare, et de Sébastien Girardot à la contrebasse, qui nous accompagne dans plusieurs ambiances grâce à une complémentarité remarquable. Tantôt ambiance nocturne sous fumée de cigarette dans un bar de Baton Rouge avec « Eh Là-Bas », tantôt rues de New York des années 40 avec « Buddy Bolden’s Blues », c’est un véritable voyage dans un temps révolu que nous offre ce disque à travers ses dix-sept morceaux. Des portes se présentent, et chacune d’entre elles nous permettent d’accéder à une nouvelle atmosphère, un nouvel environnement.
Véritable mélange de cultures, cet album est une ode aux sonorités d’ailleurs : on y chante français dans « Les Oignons », créole dans « Mo Pas Laimé ça », anglais dans « I Would if I Could », en découvrant un mélange de jazz, de swing, de blues, de sonorités sud-américaines. Une, deux, même trois ambiances peuvent se retrouver dans un morceau, à l’image de « Port Bayou St John », qui nous amène au fur et à mesure dans les contrées du Far West, puis au beau milieu d’un village aux sonorités latines grâce à la guitare du brillant Dave Kelbie.
Les mélodies sont variées et offrent un projet riche grâce à un quartet talentueux. Un son positif, une voix chaleureuse ajouté à des compositions entraînantes. Vous souhaitez voyager sans sortir de chez vous ? Don Vappie & Jazz Créole vous en donne l’occasion.

Don Vappie & Jazz Créole – The Blue Book of Storyville
Don Vappie has had quite a career as a banjoist, guitarist, bassist, singer, arranger-composer, educator, lecturer, record and event producer, and expert about all aspects of New Orleans jazz. While he began playing music as an electric bassist in funk groups, he gradually moved towards the guitar and the banjo, playing traditional jazz with small groups and as a solo banjoist. He started recording in the mid-1980s, has worked with the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra on and off since 1994, led the Creole Jazz Serenaders, and been an important spokesman on television specials and PBS about the music of New Orleans.
Listening to The Blue Book Of Storyville, it is easy to compare Don Vappie with the late Danny Barker, who was also an important banjoist, guitarist, educator and spokesman, but Vappie has his own sound as a banjoist and singer. For this project he is teamed with Jazz Créole, a trio consisting of clarinetist David Horniblow, rhythm guitarist Dave Kelbie, and bassist Sebastien Girardot. Kelbie and Girardot, both of whom played with Evan Christopher in Django a la Creole, give the two lead voices gentle but swinging support throughout.
Vappie sings songs in both French (“Eh La Bas,” “Les Oignons” and Kid Ory’s “C’est l’autre Cancan” among them) and English (“Buddy Bolden’s Blues,” “Basin Street Blues” and his own “The Blue Book Of Storyville”) and takes inventive banjo solos on the instrumentals including “Panama” and the obscure “Abandon.”
The interplay between Don Vappie’s voice and banjo with clarinetist David Horniblow is a joy on nearly every selection, and makes this CD a gem growing in interest with each listen.

Don Vappie & Jazz Créole – The Blue Book of Storyville
Don Vappie (banjo, vocals); David Horniblow (clarinet); Dave Kelbie (guitar); Sébastien Girardot (double bass)
Don Vappie has amassed an impressive back catalogue of recordings as a bandleader and sideman. The Blue Book of Storyville on Dave Kelbie’s Lejazzetal Records is the banjoist’s latest as leader and he is in good company working with David Horniblow, clarinet, Lejazzetal label boss Dave Kelbie, guitar and Sébastien Girardot, double bass.
Seventeen tracks stretching over the best part of seventy minutes are band arrangements of familiar, some less familiar, numbers with a particular emphasis on Vappie’s Créole heritage. The vocals – in English and in French – are Vappie’s and his sunny disposition comes shining through. The Blue Book of Storyville (comp. D. Vappie) is an early highlight swiftly followed by Jelly Roll Morton’s Buddy Bolden’s Blues.
David Horniblow is well versed in the Crescent City style (Horniblow’s The Complete Morton Project duo album with pianist Andrew Oliver on Lejazzetal is recommended listening) and on this 2019 Vappie recording the London based clarinettist makes several incisive contributions.
It comes as little surprise to find New Orleans’ staples Basin Street Blues and Red Wing making the cut alongside Vappie’s own compositons. The Blue Book of Storyville (the title track) is Vappie’s critique of his home city’s red light district, its bawdy houses of a century ago and songs of the period which were rather disparaging of the women working on the upper floors as the ‘piano professors’ worked the bar room below.
The New Orleans Rhythm Kings’ Tin Roof Blues, sounding as good as ever almost a century on, is paired with Créole Blues, a tune, as Nick Spitzer points out in his informative sleeve notes, Vappie learned from the 1947 version recorded by Danny Barker and Albert Nicholas. The rhythm boys on this album – Dave Kelbie and Sébastien Girardot – know their onions (French or otherwise) when it comes to the repertoire and, tune after tune, lay down a solid foundation.
Lejazzetal’s reputation goes before it, this new Don Vappie album serves to reaffirm it. Recommended.

SUNDAY TIMES UK 12.01.2020
DON VAPPIE & JAZZ CREOLE. The Blue Book of Storyville
An authentic voice of New Orleans, Don Vappie is a banjo player immersed in the local Creole culture — you may well have heard him in the immaculate band Django à la Créole. This unabashedly laid-back set has songs and vamps that, in true Big Easy style, blend jazz virtuosity with buoyant blues riffs and a splash of Caribbean rhythms. The ghosts of Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet and Kid Ory roam the streets again.

Jazz de la Nouvelle-Orléans. Les mémoires du banjo, mémoires du jazz
Don Vappie fait partie des musiciens produits par la Nouvelle Orléans. Un virtuose de l’instrument indispensable pour le jazz des origines : le banjo. « The Blue Book of Storyville » se veut mémoires de la musique des Créoles, croisement entre les maîtres blancs et français avec les esclaves issues de l’Afrique. Ils constituaient une sorte de classe moyenne dans la stratification de la société louisianaise entre les Blancs et les Noirs des quartiers déshérités de la Ville. Après la vente de la Louisiane par Napoléon, ce statut particulier sera aboli par les nouveaux maîtres. A leur grande colère, les Créoles seront assimilés aux Noirs.
Cet ancrage historique permet de comprendre l’utilisation du français – mâtiné certes, le créole est une langue singulière – dans les chansons qui sont reprises par Don Vappie et Jazz Créole, le nom du groupe : David Horniblow, clarinette, Dave Kelbie, guitare et Sébastien Girardot, contrebasse. Ils reprennent « Les Oignons » que Sidney Bechet avait signé alors qu’il s’agit d’une chanson traditionnelle de la Nouvelle Orléans.
Une musique vivante, dansante, drôle tout en étant pleine de mémoires qui transforme le passé en autant de feux-follets pour permettre de construire un avenir.
Fallait-il, pour autant, faire référence à Storyville, le quartier des bordels – un pour les Blancs et un pour les Noirs – fermé en 1917 ? Il faudrait faire taire la légende qui veut que le jazz soit né dans les lieux de plaisirs – pas pour tout le monde, le plaisir ! – alors qu’il a germé dans la rue, dans les ghettos.


Additional information


The Blue Book of Storyville
Don Vappie & Jazz Créole

Recorded at Master Chord Studio, London
Engineered by Ronan Phelan, Assisted by Michele G. Catri
27/28th November 2018

Edited and mixed by Dougal Lott and Dave Kelbie
Edited at Konk Studio, London
Mixed at Master Chord Studio, London
Mastered by Minerva Pappi at Waudio, Helsinki

© 2019 Lejazzetal Records, London
Produced by Lejazzetal Records

Package design & artwork by Dave Kelbie
assisted by Kathryn at Prestset
Manufactured in the EU by The Digital Audio Co Ltd

Front cover from a photo by Richard Hammerton

Sleeve notes by Nick Spitzer

10 reviews for The Blue Book of Storyville

  1. Andy Fugate (verified owner)

    What a great album! Buttery, twangy creole jazz with that super smooth voice. I love it!

  2. Les H (verified owner)

    This is a super album and so easy to listen to. The service provided by lejazzetal was first class – as was the postage. A nice company to deal with, treating me as a human being – rare in these days of on-line shopping.

  3. Jan Williams (verified owner)

    I was not familiar with Don Vappie before but am absolutely delighted with this discovery. Don Vappie has a beautiful voice and is backed up superbly by David, Dave and Sébastien. If you have to buy only one cd this year make it this one!!

  4. John CR (verified owner)

    As a newcomer to Créole I just loved this! You won’t be disappointed!

  5. Jackie Siva (verified owner)

    Would recommend this firm for quality of music . First time I Ilistened Creole music and was greatly rewarded. The service was very prompt as the CD was delvered by a biker the very next day.

  6. imnotthere1944 (verified owner)

    What a superb album – a revelation! And such a great company to deal with, too.

  7. Judith McMahon (verified owner)

    Great album and fabulous service.

  8. Michael Huter

    I do not remember how I came across this record. (I am not into traditional jazz and I am not particularly fond of the banjo either.) When I listened to the sample tracks on the label’s website I knew I had to have it. The music is quintessential and the production is flawless – less is more at its best.

  9. Ann Henderson (verified owner)

    I ordered this after a review in the Observer newspaper, knowing nothing about Don Vappie previously. Amazing service from Dave at Lejazzetal and absolutely loving the music. I spend (usually – not this year!!!) a third of my year in the south of France and the music is really evocative of the relaxed lifestyle there. Makes up for missing all the French jazz festivals this summer.

  10. Thomas Green (verified owner)

    Terrific album. Like some others, I bought this on the back of the Observer review. So much fabulous music. Thanks also to Lejazzetal – very prompt service & delivery.

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