Keeping the Hussies at bay

I grew up in Lafayette, LA. I was never a big cajun music fan, but it was definitely in the air in my childhood. There are a few people that I remember as being the really big deals of cajun music. Michael Doucet and Beausoleil and Zachary Richard were at the top of that list. Zachary Richard has lived in other parts of the world at points in time, but Michael Doucet seemed to always be around. I’d see him in the airport in Lafayette or New Orleans, and Beausoleil played pretty regularly in town in my youth.

Lafayette has produced more than its fair share of good trombonists largely through the influence of Robert Schmalz who taught trombone and music history at USL through the 80’s and 90’s. A number of his students have gone on to become fairly well known trombonists. He was my teacher in high school.

Lafayette hasn’t produced many free jazz artists. Dickie Landry comes to mind, but the pool isn’t too deep after that. I imagine that when it comes to free jazz trombonists from Lafayette, I may be the lone member of that club. Imagine my surprise when this popped up on my eMusic screen today.