While gigs were cancelled and the gates to Preservation Hall remained closed due to the pandemic, Charlie Gabriel was hard at work: practicing, recording, and healing through music.
Recorded in New Orleans at the Preservation Hall studio over 2020 and 2021, 89 is a celebration of Mr. Gabriel's nearly eight decades as a professional musician – a role he has nursed since first performing with New Orleans' Eureka Brass Band at 11 years old.
"The songs on the record have been important in making me the type of person I am today. I’ve lived just about all of these songs from the time when I was a young boy until now. ‘Memories of You’ is a Eubie Blake song I remember doing at my house with my father. ‘Chelsea Bridge’ is another one that we also did a little later on. ‘Stardust’ makes me think of Mr. Louis Cottrell. He played in the Sidney Desvigne Band—they were a big band with 17 pieces, like the Count Basie band or the Duke Ellington band. Mr. Cottrell played clarinet in that band, and it stayed with me all my life. ‘Three Little Words’ was another one of the things that my father liked to do, so I’ve fooled with that one quite a bit over the years."