Well, they weren't really dueling so much as complimenting each other, each clarinetist egging the other on. I always associate wind instruments with traditional jazz and usually the brass ones more often than not. This isn't being fair to Benny Goodman and it certainly isn't fair to the two clarinetists we watched the other night at Fritzl's.
We've taken our bikes and the Ninja through the French Quarter but haven't really spent any time there until Thursday night. Bourbon Street lived up to its reputation with music pouring out windows and doorways. While it is packed with people, most of them are harmless. Yes, it's full of tourists but so what? Tourism is New Orleans' main industry at the moment.
The band enjoyed themselves and so did everyone who listened. It was a very diverse crowd and I was intrigued by the twenty-somethings enjoying this music. A piano, a drum kit, a bass, two clarinets. A simple set up for some very intricate and sophisticated syncopation. While the band stuck to what I assume are Dixieland standards meant for the tourists, their artistry was impeccable and they certainly know how to put on a show.
I've been to Fritzl's before. I like the stained wood ambience and the benches arranged into a small auditorium. Are there better venues? Probably. I'm certainly interested in finding them. The level of New Orleans musicianship is first rate whether in the clubs or on the street. Jazz really is the pulse of New Orleans and I'm glad I'm hear to listen to it.
This afternoon, I learned who Gen. Albert Pike was.