Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Roberta on the Arts reviews NOPV1

"This CD is a selection of New Orleans favorites from the renowned Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which that I visited twice, some years ago, in its own historical Hall in New Orleans, and which I reviewed this year at Blue Note. This music evokes every mood imaginable, from joyous, to melancholy, to inspirational, to dreamlike, to energized. The eight seasoned musicians take turns on vocals, while they share the brilliantly rhythmic arrangements on sousaphone, piano, bass, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and drums. I had the chance to meet these warm, vibrant musicians at Blue Note, and I can’t wait to see them again in New Orleans.

Notable tracks:

#1 – Short Dressed Gal – Composed by Preservation Hall Jazz Band. In this lively, humorous track, Ben Jaffe plays sousaphone, Clint Maedgen is on vocals, and the band could not be more rhythmically resonant. It’s obvious that they enjoy working together, as the harmonies and timing are so precise. From the very first track, you just want to dance.

#4 – Sugar Blues – Composed by Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Marc Braud is featured on muted trumpet, as well as vocals here. The mood is bluesy, bubbly, and breezy, with Charlie Gabriel on mellow clarinet, Joe Lastie, Jr. on sharp percussive beats, and Walter Payton on equally pulsating bass. You can just imagine this band walking through The French Quarter, filling Bourbon Street with this stirring sound.

#7 – Tailgate Ramble – Composed by Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Red hot swing fills your heart on hearing this sensational track. Charlie Gabriel seizes the vocals, with Rickie Monie featured on piano and Freddie Lonzo on trombone. The brass and percussion work wonders with this scintillating song.

#11 – Tiger Rag – Composed by Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Marc Braud leads the band on their combined vocals and brass, with Joe Lastie, Jr. backing up the rapid, bouncy tempo with wooden, clicking drumsticks and engaging percussive repetition. Ben Jaffe’s bass strings infuse syncopated spirit, and plenty of “Hold that Tiger” adds to this fun musical romp."

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