Irvin Mayfield - A Love Letter to New Orleans
Written by Edward F. Nesta   
Irvin Mayfield - Love Letters to New OrleansJazz trumpeter Irvin Mayfield - A Love Letter to New Orleans on the Basin Street Records label is a 14-track release that will captivate your heart. Irvin Mayfield is joined by Los Hombres Calientes and a "who's who" of talented musicians including Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Cyril Neville, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Kermit Ruffins, Rebirth Brass Band, John Boutté, Big Chief Bo Dollis, Sr., and Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, to name but a few.

Irvin Mayfield - Love Letters to New Orleans 

Irvin Mayfield - A Love Letter to New Orleans         

Irvin Mayfield - A Letter to New Orleans - Songs and Personnel: Mo' Better Blues with Ellis Marsalis; Latin Tinge II - Los Hombres Calientes with Bill Summers; Romeo and Juliet with Ellis Marsalis; Old Time Indians Meeting of the Chiefs - Los Hombres Calientes with Cyril Neville, Donald Harrison, Jr., and Big Chief Bo Dollis, Sr.; James Booker - Los Hombres Calientes with Bill Summers, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez; Fatimah; Lynch Mob - Interlude with Dillard University Choir; Blue Dawn with Wynton Marsalis; George Porter  - Los Hombres Calientes with George Porter, Jr.; Super Star with Ellis Marsalis, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra; Wind Song with Gordon Parks; I'll Fly Away - Los Hombres Calientes with Davell Crawford, Cyril Neville; Mardi Gras Second Line - Los Hombres Calientes with Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Kermit Ruffins, Rebirth Brass Band, John Boutté  

Irvin Mayfield - A Letter to New Orleans was written and composed by Irvin Mayfield and produced on the Basin Street Records label. Just in his early 30s, Irvin Mayfield is a Grammy Award winner in addition to receiving countless other awards. His love of music and all things New Orleans, had lead him on a musical path that seeks out the passion, zest for live, and love that comes from being in this inspiring city.  Another release from Irvin Mayfield found in the Music Scene section: Irvin Mayfield and Ellis Marsalis - Love Songs, Ballads and Standards.  

For this release, Irvin Mayfield selected 14-tracks off his previous CDs to create a loving tribute to the city of New Orleans. He writes, "To spend a life in music is to dedicate yourself to communicating love with people you respect and admire. You have an opportunity to get close to those whose talent inspires. Sometimes the reverse happens and you find yourself inspiring others. Music would live only in lost moments were it not for the technology of sound recording. Recordings have allowed me to embrace the golden sound of Louis Armstrong's trumpet and the rich soul of Nina Simone's voice. Mark Samuels and Basin Street Records gave me my first recording contract when I was twenty years old. Like me, Mark was also just beginning a career in the music business, and we took a chance on each other. We accomplished much together, from creating great art moments to winning many awards. We also managed to have a lot of fun. This body of work is an excerpt from ten albums and over a decade as an artist on the label. However, the thing I treasure most from the work done with Basin Street Records is the unwavering belief in a dream that has allowed me to become the artist I am."  

The release opens with the track Mo' Better Blues from the movie of the same name. A tender and moving rendition that will have your heart swimming and your body tingling with each note; Irvin says more about love in a few trumpet notes than many people say in a love letter. The track Latin Tinge II projects the fire and thirst that only New Orleans can start and quench; he uses the power of the Latin beat to tell his story of desire and passion.   

The song Romeo and Juliet starts in with a piano solo that sets the mood of a love that is strong but a love that cannot be; Irvin's trumpet work is full of sorrow and longing. Irvin changes pace with the song James Booker, at just less than 9 minutes long the track is a page-turner of love found, love challenged, and the rewards of staying with your feelings. Irvin changes tempo and pace throughout the song as a book would end a chapter and start a new one; this is a powerful arrangement.  

The song El Negro parts 1, 2, 3 is a ballad that leads in with a beautiful series of piano notes before blazing to a swinging Latin beat featuring a piccolo with that distinct sound of a heart fluttering. Blue Dawn, featuring Wynton Marsalis, slows down the pace and the rendition is personal and moving; it is as though Irvin is looking into each listener's soul. Super Star brings in the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Ellis Marsalis to capture a feeling of intimacy and reassurance, the feeling that being a part of New Orleans conveys.  

The release closes with the tracks Wind Song featuring Gordon Parks, a moving and touching song akin to the feeling of love lost; I'll Fly Away a spiritual ballad that typifies the New Orleans music scene and how the people pay tribute to those who have moved on, but with the belief, they are moving on to a better life. The last song, Mardi Gras Second Line, is an uplifting and fitting arrangement and a testament to the love, life, and fervor that the people of New Orleans live for and many achieve.      

If you are traveling to New Orleans, be sure to stop in at Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street for the opportunity to hear some great live jazz.  

Websites where you can procure Irvin Mayfield - A Letter to New Orleans are Basin Street Records, Amazon, iTunes, J&R Music, and Rhapsody.  

© October 2011. Luxury Experience. All rights reserved.