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Bob French: Big Easy in the Big Apple

Bob French

We freaked the engineer out,” drummer Bob French says of the hilarious scene created when a crew of New Orleans musicians descended on a New York studio for the recording of Marsalis Music Honors: Bob French. “He didn’t know what was going on. Then Branford [Marsalis] said, ‘This is the way we act at home. We’re just being ourselves.'”

French, who is a member of one of New Orleans’ great musical families that includes his father, banjoist-guitarist Papa French, along with five other Crescent City musicians, met up with saxophonist Marsalis and pianist Harry Connick Jr. for the date. The drummer has known both of the acclaimed musicians since they were children. He remembers when 7-year-old Connick would come to sit in with Papa French’s Original Tuxedo Jazz Band and uses Connick’s childhood nickname “Boomer” during “When the Saints Come Marching In.”

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