Billie and De De and Their Preservation Hall Band (1966)
Recorded at Preservation Hall on April 26, 1966 by noted jazz historian William Russell, New Orleans’ Billie and De De and Their Preservation Hall Jazz Band stands as testament to the extraordinary power of one of Preservation Hall’s earliest lineups. Born in Marianna, Florida in 1907, Billie Goodson Pierce was a passionate player of ragtime and blues piano. From her teenage turn playing for blues legend Bessie Smith to her lean depression-era years playing the honkytonks of the French Quarter’s lower Decatur Street, this self-taught player would later become one of the most widely heard performers in the history of New Orleans Jazz. Born in New Orleans in 1904, Joseph “De De” La Croix Pierce was the Creole son of an established brick mason who fell in love with the trumpet at an early age and spent his life balancing his father’s blue collar assertions with his own musical aspirations. Married on March 28, 1935 with George Lewis as best man, Billie and De De Pierce rarely worked a job that they didn’t play together. With De De on cornet and Billie on piano, the couple had already been together for thirty years by the time this album was recorded. Joined by George Lewis on clarinet, Cie Frazier on drums, Louis Nelson on Trombone, Narvin Kimball on banjo, and Chester Zardis on bass, this record captures some of the greatest jazz musicians from the first half of the twentieth century in the midst of one of the most remarkable comebacks in New Orleans history.
Dejan's Olympia Brass Band
Here Come Da Great Olympia Band (1974)
Founded in 1958 by alto saxophonist Harold “Duke” Dejan, The Olympia Brass Band operated continuously for more than 45 years before Hurricane Katrina scattered its last remaining members to new homes across the country. Boasting an all-star lineup and an intense New Orleans parade repertoire, The Olympia Brass Band was truly one of the greatest in a long tradition of New Orleans marching organizations. Through their standing Sunday night engagement at Preservation Hall, appearances in films like the James Bond feature “Live and Let Die,” and their many European tours, The Olympia Brass Band brought the vibrant street music of New Orleans to music lovers all over the world. Recorded in 1974, at the height of their glory, Here Come Da Great Olympia Band features leader Harold “Duke” Dejan backed up by a dozen legends of New Orleans Brass and traditional jazz, including Emmanuel Paul, Milton Batiste, and Kid Sheik Colar. Also, included here for the first time, the digital version of this classic album is accompanied by three previously unavailable tracks from the Olympia Brass Band’s 45rpm single, Mardi Gras 77.
Here is a newer favorite that follows in the steps of "Duke" Dejan:
Preservation Hall Hot 4: St. Peter Street Serenade
Complicated Life" and "I Can’t Give You Anything But Love."