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New Birth Family

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Album Review

The New Birth Brass Band is aptly named, emerging as it does at a time when there is new interest in the New Orleans brass band tradition. Not a typical second-line band, these guys have a unique sound that incorporates elements of Mardi Gras Indian chants, gutbucket funk (producer George Porter, Jr. used to be the Meters' bass player), and straight-ahead jazz as well as second-line sounds and gospel. To accuse them of sometimes sounding sloppy on their latest album is to miss the point completely. And besides, in many cases what sounds like sloppiness is really just an artful pretense — sure, they're all getting messy with the beat on the delirious "Fat Boy," but listen to how dead-on everyone's intonation is. On the other hand, what should have been a transcendent rendition of "Gloryland" is marred by a careless vocal mix and a backing chorus that doesn't match the lead singer's soulful intensity. (The band's take on "Old Time Religion" works much better.) A few other tracks, notably "Project Love" and "Hush Your Mouth," just fail somehow to catch fire. But when these guys hit it they hit it hard, as their explosive renditions of "I Got a Woman" and "A.P. Tuoro" demonstrate. Recommended.


Formed: 1995 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The New Birth Brass Band are part of a long line in the New Orleans brass band tradition, but their relative youth means their music yields an eclectic set of musical genres. New Birth's members are virtuosos who mix elements of blues, ragtime, gospel, funk, soul, rock, and traditional Crescent City jazz into their sound. The group’s albums include D-Boy, released by the NYNO (New York/New Orleans) label in 1997; New Birth Family, issued by Valley Entertainment in 2005; and New Orleans Second Line!,...
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New Birth Family, New Birth Brass Band
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  • €8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 25 January 2005

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