Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band--This Is Jazz, Vol. 30 (1987)

Artist-The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Album-This Is Jazz, Vol. 30
Release Date-Aug 1987-Jan 1993
Genre/Style-Jazz/New Orleans Brass Bands/New Orleans Jazz

Personal Rating-Recommended!

Biography-by Scott Yanow The Dirty Dozen Brass Band in its prime successfully mixed together R&B with the instrumentation of a New Orleans brass band. Featuring Kirk Joseph on sousaphone playing with the agility of an electric bassist, the group revitalized the brass band tradition, opening up the repertoire and inspiring some younger groups to imitate its boldness. Generally featuring five horns (two trumpets, one trombone, and two saxes) along with the sousaphone, a snare drummer, and a bass drummer, the DDBB was innovative in its own way, making fine recordings for Rounder, Columbia, and the George Wein Collection (the latter released through Concord). Guest artists have included Dr. John, Dizzy Gillespie, and Danny Barker. Unfortunately, the group became much more conventional over the years, still using R&B riffs but with a standard (and less distinctive) rhythm section. The DDBB re-emerged in 1999 with John Medeski as its producer, and many called the group's Buck Jump release a return to classic form. The group then returned in 2002 with yet another surprising album, Medicated Magic. Two years later, the band made their Artemis label debut with Funeral For A Friend.

Review-by John Bush Spanning four LPs and almost six years, This Is Jazz presents the best of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Compiled and annotated by their producer Scott Billington, the set does a great job of picking and choosing from the group's Columbia material. Collaborations with Dr. John ("It's All Over Now") and Branford Marsalis ("Moose the Mooche") work well, but the most enjoyable tracks are simple group jams like "Charlie Dozen" and "Gemini Rising." The bluesy "Don't You Feel My Leg," with New Orleans legend Danny Barker, is a special highlight.



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