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Butler, Bernstein And The Hot 9 At Jazz Standard

Steven Bernstein (trumpet) and Henry Butler (front row, right) lead the Hot 9.
Steven Bernstein (trumpet) and Henry Butler (front row, right) lead the Hot 9.

Video from this performance is no longer available.

Henry Butler comes from a line of New Orleans piano geniuses, virtuosi who command any style under the syncopated sun. Steven Bernstein comes from a career of collaboration, blowing a slide trumpet all over downtown New York and writing arrangements for just about any medium and context. Both share a love for Jelly Roll Morton and Bessie Smith — Butler grew up in New Orleans, and Bernstein leads the pre-war Millennial Territory Orchestra — and for injecting personal, modern twists into anything they do. And when they met on stage recently, they knew they had to collaborate deeper.

Butler, Bernstein and the Hot 9 released a 2014 album, Viper's Drag, that showcases their party-minded take on early repertoire. Jazz Night In America visits the venue where they first worked together as a band, the Jazz Standard in New York City, for a set from the group.

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