Jazz icon and hometown hero Pete Fountain died Saturday morning at the age of 86. Pete was a beloved figure here in New Orleans and even those of us who never met him feel like we lost an old friend. Pete and his clarinet were a part of the cultural fabric of our city. Every Mardi Gras morning, Pete and his Half-Fast Walking Club would meander from Uptown to the French Quarter barhopping and playing music along the way. It was familiar and comforting to know they’d be on the street with the rest of us. I suspect they’ll roll next year but Pete will be missed. He was irreplaceable.
This week’s Sunday Morning Video is a 1979 set by Pete and his crack band at Wolf Trap:
Pete is gone but his music is eternal; if there’s an afterlife he’s already jamming with his old pal Al Hirt like it was 1979: