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Album Review

New Birth Brass Band are one of the groups to come out of the new wave of brass band music in New Orleans, started by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Fusing traditional brass band music with contemporary sounds is the genius of this style. Its spiritual father was the late, great Danny Barker, who set up a school for brass musicians so that the old ways would not die out. But the new way is strictly now and funky, as the music of New Birth Brass Band attests. The group was founded by trumpeter James Andrews, known as "Satchmo of the Ghetto." He — along with Corey Henry, Kerwin James, Derrick Shezbie, Reginald Steward, and Cayetano Hingle — put down a decidedly hip-hop sound on their CD D-Boy. Produced under the expert eye of New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint, the CD pays homage to the past with tunes like "L'il Liza Jane" and "Jesus on the Mainline," while celebrating the present with the riotous title cut. This is party-down dance music, as evidenced by songs like "Mardi Gras in New Orleans" and "Shakin' That Ass." The final selection, "Caribbean Second Line," does just that, sending the tropical, hip-swinging party out the door and into the streets.


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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D-Boy, The New Birth Brass Band
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