New Orleans Preservation, Vol. 1
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
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Having assembled the archival CD/DVD package Made in New Orleans: The Hurricane Sessions after salvaging tapes from the damaged Preservation Hall, Benjamin Jaffe, son of Allan Jaffe, who ran the hall originally, now executive produces and plays on the first of a series of new Preservation Hall Jazz Band recordings, this one recorded at the hall itself in January 2009. That, of course, is a statement unto itself, as New Orleans continues to recover from Hurricane Katrina nearly four years after its devastation. But the band, now an octet featuring trumpeter Mark Braud, bassist Walter Payton, and drummer Joe Lastie, Jr., uses the opportunity simply to make a classic New Orleans jazz album of traditional material, which is as it should be. The Dixieland sound of several horns soloing at once is often heard, but this is also an eclectic music in which the traditional country of Jimmie Rodgers ("Blue Yodel #9") rubs shoulders with '40s pop (the Ink Spots' "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire"), along with jump blues and early rock & roll ("Choko Mo Feel No Hey," "Halloween"). Braud's growling trumpet on "Sugar Blues" even recalls '20s jazz, and the big showcase number is a version of the earliest jazz tune, "Tiger Rag." Throw in a traditional New Orleans funeral procession ("Westlawn Dirge") and a gospel tune ("What a Friend"), and the album presents a set that covers all the bases for this traditional outfit, playing in its traditional home.
Formed: 1961 in New Orleans, LA
Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s