The season premiere was heavy on exposition but the table they’re setting looks pretty tasty. One semi-expository moment that I got a kick out of was Delmond’s scene with the pretentious intellectual Jazz snobs at the party in Noo Yawk.
In tones dripping with condescension, Delmond was praised for “transcending” New Orleans Jazz; especially that “Dixieland” shit. Delmond was irked and sounded like his daddy, Albert. It was the first time I’ve ever liked Delmond who has always stuck me as a cold fish.
The guys at the party were pompous Stanley Crouch wannabes. I’ve met their ilk (another swell word I’m trying to revive) and never cared for them. I used to be a music snob but let it go when I realized it was not only pompous but a sign of creeping, or maybe even galloping, old fartism.
The jazz snobs also served as a sort of Greek chorus of the doubts we heard about New Orleans in 2006. Can it come back? Should it and in what form? We’re back but also different in many ways. On the good side, there has been a revival of interest in such local customs as second lines and the Mardi Gras Indians to name but a few. People who wouldn’t have dreamed of going to see the Indians on Super Sunday are flocking like birds to the feathered costume set or something like that.
I also appreciated Delmond’s protective attitude towards criticism of our city. It’s okay for us to say “this fucking city” when we’re exasperated with things that are *too* naturally N’awlins BUT let someone else kick us in the proverbial bollocks and we band together like the characters at the end of Freaks: Not one of us. Not really but it’s a pretty nifty image…