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