Posts Tagged new orleans
February 8, 2013 by Jason Ashlock
Our friends over at AskMen.com invited Ro Cuzon to serve as their official Mardi Gras expert. As the blizzard slams the coast, start planning your trip to the Big Easy. Ro’s epic party guide is here
January 17, 2013 by Jason Ashlock
A REVIEW OF NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER’S TIGER RAG
BY RO CUZON
The lost Bolden cylinder is considered by many to be one of the most valuable artifacts in music history; others simply believe it never actually existed.
Charles ‘Buddy’ Bolden was a schizophrenic New Orleans cornetist, who, according to musical lore, first invented the art form called jazz by merging traditional marching band music with church spirituals, blues and ragtime. He famously refused to record his music, except for a single session in the late 1890s or early 1900s, when his band cut one song on an Edison wax cylinder.
Willie Cornish, one of Bolden’s sidemen, revealed this fact in an interview with Jazzmen co-author C.E Smith shortly before his death in 1942, and over the years countless people have searched for this mythical recording—nicknamed the ‘Holy Grail’ or ‘Maltese Falcon’ of Jazz.
The lost Bolden cylinder is a MacGuffin of sorts in my new Adel Destin novel due out next spring from The Rogue Reader. Destin’s New Orleans bar in Under the Dixie Moon and the upcoming Crescent City Stomp is named after the legendary cornetist (more here). The book is the third in the series but actually the first one I wrote, several years ago. So you can imagine my alarm last week when I saw the following headline in a Washington Post book review online:
‘Jazz legend Buddy Bolden and lost recording spin suspense in novel about fractured family.’
Freaked, I read the review for this Tiger Rag by Nicholas Christopher. It was positive, so I read a couple more. All the reviewers liked the book. As for the story, it seemed different enough from mine, but I had to be sure. So I bought the Kindle version and immediately started to read it.
And I loved it.
Tiger Rag opens with Christopher’s vivid reimagining of the Buddy Bolden Band’s only recording session and grabs you with its first paragraph. It then jumps to present-day Florida where Dr. Ruby Cardillo, an anesthesiologist who’s taken to wearing purple and drinking 1988 Latour after her husband dumps her for a 26-year-old, reconnects with her daughter, Devon, a jazz-pianist and recovering addict.
Together, they embark on a road trip up the east coast, in the process uncovering secrets and family connections to the recording, the novel’s narrative moving back and forth in time and place from 1900 New Orleans to Christmas 2010 in Manhattan.
I read the book in a day, in just three sittings. Nicholas’ amazingly detailed descriptions of turn-of-the-20th-century Louisiana in particular blew me away—like stepping inside a time-machine.
So go ahead and buy Tiger Rag. If anything, it’ll enhance your experience when you read Crescent City Stomp!
Thanks, Mr. Christopher. Well worth my $12.99
Tiger Rag is available now from Random House. Ro Cuzon is the author of Under the Dixie Moon and Under the Carib Sun, the first two novels in the Adel Destin series. The third, Crescent City Stomp, will be published by The Rogue Reader this year.
October 23, 2012 by Jason Ashlock
Ro Cuzon knows NOLA. He moved to the City that Care Forgot three months before Katrina. (Good timing, eh?) But Ro says it was a blessing in disguise. He fell in love with the town and its people, and after spending all his evenings at King Bolden’s Bar, listening to the stories of Katrina survivors as they found their way back from the brink, he decided to make it home. “All my friends in New York were asking, ‘Wait, you’re staying?’ And I said, ‘Fuck, yeah, I’m staying!’ ” And he did.
Today Ro’s playing host at the first Rogue Speakeasy post, letting you in on some secrets. Below are a half dozen bars in New Orleans that you won’t find in travel guides, but offer the best taste of the city’s culture, music, and bar citizenry. And if you can’t make it to NOLA by happy hour, Ro’s also giving you a couple of speciality cocktail recipes inspired by his noir novels, out this month.
The real New Orleans bar crawl:
- Sidney’s Saloon
- Prime Example
- 12 Mile Limit
- The Saint
- Snake & Jake
Each recipe makes about 40 drinks. Because nobody in NOLA drinks alone. Whip these up. Then call some friends.
October 23, 2012 by Jason Ashlock
Every location in Ro Cuzon’s gritty crime novel Under the Dixie Moon is a real place, and this custom map invites you to walk the same wet streets and dark alleys as ex-junkie and haunted hero Adel Destin. He’s navigating the heat and shadows of New Orleans in search of killer who is targeting women on fringes–and whose targets are getting to close for comfort. He could use the company.
October 11, 2012 by Jason Ashlock
Of all the horrible things that took place in New Orleans during or in the aftermath of Katrina, one of the most gruesome was the murder of Addie Hall, 30, by her boyfriend Zackery Bowen. Bowen, 28, killed himself on October 17 th, 2006, by jumping off the roof of the Omni Royal Orleans hotel in the French Quarter. In his pocket, police found a suicide note explaining in grisly, violent details how he’d strangled, cut up, then cooked his girlfriend’s body twelve days earlier.
From the Times-Picayune:
“A source familiar with the investigation said detectives found in the couple’s apartment two pots on the stove, one containing a woman’s head and the other her hands and feet. Next to the pot containing her head were carrots and potatoes that had been cut up; none had been placed in the pots. In the oven were turkey-basting trays containing human legs and arms, the source said. At least one of the pans had seasoning sprinkled on the limbs, the source said.”
This shocking crime happened above a voodoo shop just a few doors down from the bar where I worked on Rampart Street (King Bolden’s — my protagonist Adel Destin’s drinking establishment in my novels Under the Dixie Moon and the forthcoming Crescent City Stomp). Zackery Bowen, a Bosnia and Iraq vet, was a delivery man from a French Quarter corner store and bartender; he had brought me po’boys on several occasions. I wrote “Last Saturday at Blake’s” about a year later, having forgotten (or at least safely pushed the horrific story deep in mind). It was accepted by CrimeSpree Magazine, which published it in #24 issue. It wasn’t until a New Orleans friend read it and asked me if it had been inspired by the Bowen & Hall crime, that I realized that indeed it had.
- Ro Cuzon