Sunday, September 03, 2006

Photos: Kidd Jordan housegutting

The Arabi Wrecking Krewe helped gut the flood-damaged house yesterday of jazz legend and music educator Kidd Jordan.

More photos.

It was an exhausting day. My hands are feeling pretty beat up today from swinging a wrecking crowbar against sheetrock mounted on top of faux wood paneling. This was just one more of over a hundred thousand houses that still need gutting.

The one-year deadline ordered by the New Orleans City Council for homes to be gutted and yards to be cleaned has now passed. I wish those who create policy would spend a day in the shoes of residents still struggling with the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita before they make such ridiculous orders.

I may have more to say about the day's experience another time. For now, I'll just say how pleased I was to meet Kidd, his wife, and son Paul. I was dumbstruck by Kidd's knowledge of complicated classical music structures -- like twelve-tone rows. He talked about paying his dues learning Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and Hindemith. One reason he's often overlooked as an essential jazz figure in history, he admitted, is that he likes to challenge himself more than he likes to give the masses stuff to shake their butts to (note, for example, that son Marlon is listed on the jazz history tree poster, but not Kidd). Of course, Kidd also talked a lot about Coltrane, Bird, Davis, and other jazz legends who had not just talent, but who applied themselves in earnest to the task of stretching themselves to the limits of their abilities. He's modest about his contribution to music education in New Orleans, but Brian West said any musician in New Orleans would bring up Kidd's name as an influence on many of the great legends of New Orleans jazz musicians. As just one example, Kidd found among the debris a poster from a trip he sponsored of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to do their first perfomance overseas at a jazz festival in Germany. It was one of their first big breaks.

Thanks for sharing so many great stories Kidd, and thank you for your contribution to music.

The Arabi Wrecking Krewe could use more volunteers and resources to help other New Orleans musicians. They're a highly dedicated, well-organized, great group of people.


Northwest Carrollton -- Rescuing Ourselves

Ray in New Orleans -- Wrecking opportunity this weekend

PGR -- New Orleans 1 A.K.

PGR -- Help clear Ms. Regina's yard

Tags: | | | | | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Katrina One Year Anniversary


At 9/04/2006 07:32:00 AM, Anonymous Karen said...

The Jordans were in amazingly good spirits, in spite of the fact that we were throwing out a lifetime of family mementos. Anyone who can participate should.

At 9/04/2006 08:12:00 AM, Anonymous Sophmom said...

Schroeder, thanks to all of you guys for doing this important work, and for promoting it on your blogs. Way cool.

At 9/04/2006 10:27:00 AM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Karen, I was thinking the same thing. It rubs off, doesn't it? Emotional strength like that is available to anyone who'd like to experience it for just the price of a day gutting someone's house.

Sophmom, we're all in this together, in New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, New York (despite our friggin' mayor), San Francisco, Miami, and anywhere else where people care about the well-being of their fellow citizens and the nation -- people who know that what goes around comes around, and that in the end, we reap what we sow.

At 9/04/2006 10:43:00 AM, Blogger Ray in New Orleans said...

Physical labor in the service of your fellow man is good for the soul. Between doing good works and listening to Kidd preach, I felt like I'd spent the day in church.

I'm ready to go again.

At 9/04/2006 03:29:00 PM, Blogger oyster said...

Yes, big thanks to y'all for doing so much hard, good work. I wish I could have participated this time, but appreciate the post and the photos.

Well done, people.

At 9/08/2006 01:05:00 AM, Anonymous Hugo Kuijpers (Hurricane Brassband) said...

You all did a wonderful job, helping this New Orleans legend.

People can help "Kid Jordan", look at and maybe you have information where I can find this information, or you get it yourself.

At 11/03/2006 09:56:00 AM, Anonymous Dave Roos said...


God bless all y'all, New Orleanians (in location or in spirit), good samaritans, and Kidd and his family.

Unfortunately I couldn't return to NOLA to help, but fortunately, I can help start the rebuilding in other ways.

I have a buncha pics of Kidd et al at Jazzfest '05, good ole B&W film that I've since printed out on real nice paper at 16" x 20".

But I can't seem to get ahold of Kidd or any of the folks I know who possibly could to get a physical address to send 'em to.

Any help and/or suggestions?

Dave Roos
david_roos "at symbol"

p.s. And any suggestions for what I might be able to do as far as volunteering in NOLA during Xmas break?


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