The Del McCoury Band & Preservation Hall Jazz Band
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American Legacies is a vibrant meeting between two legendary bands representing two uniquely American forms of music: New Orleans jazz and traditional bluegrass. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a 50-year-old institution, and Del McCoury’s band smoothly intertwine their styles on a mix of original compositions and traditional tunes. Some tracks lean a bit closer to one style or the other but all of the songs mesh like they’re part of one musical family, revealing how much jazz and bluegrass have in common, especially the importance of improvisation as shown by the jaw-dropping skill of these musicians. The standard “I’ll Fly Away” begins with a gospel feel before veering into bluegrass territory and back again, Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya” rides a classic New Orleans second-line groove, and the Del McCoury-penned “Banjo Frisco” is a reminder that the banjo was used in jazz ensembles decades before the birth of bluegrass. And the joyous interplay among the musicians is the best part of this project, a joyous tribute to both bands.
American roots music at its best...very nice!
Even better in person!
Such a band of characters!
When the iTunes review stated that the two styles, jazz and bluegrass, "smoothly intertwined," I had no idea that it would be THIS seamless! Let me put it this way... if someone came along who was unfamiliar with both jazz and bluegrass (they would have my pity!) and this was the first album they heard of either, I don't think they'd be able to tell that the two styles haven't been intertwined from the beginning!
Fans of both bluegrass and New Orleans-style jazz will love this album. It never sounds like the two styles are fighting, instead they take turns backing each other up, allowing ample time for both styles to shine but never isolating one style over another. It's a completely natural album, and, on top of that, energetic. Fully recommended!
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