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What's Going On

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

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iTunes Review

These New Orleans stalwarts faced two potential pitfalls on this ambitious, post-Katrina project: First, they decided to update an undisputed classic, and second, they invited a few special guests to assist – both risky propositions, especially coming on the heels of 2004’s terrific, tradition-steeped Funeral for a Friend. For the most part, they emerge unscathed, thanks first and foremost to the enduring relevance of Marvin Gaye’s songwriting. Veteran soul singer Bettye LaVette delivers “What’s Happening Brother,” with deep sensitivity to the lyrics. Ivan Neville joins in on a funky, organ-driven “God Is Love.” And Rapper Guru’s smooth, positive flow fits perfectly in a soulful arrangement of “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).” (Chuck D’s pointed raps don’t mesh as well on the plodding title track. While his anger is certainly justified, perhaps even necessary, he completely overlooks the brotherly spirit of hope and friendship that Gaye’s original so deftly conveyed.) Some of the more successful readings prove that the Dirty Dozen don’t necessarily need guests (or words) to get their points across: the scintillating “Right On,” the mournful “Wholy Holy,” and “Flyin’ High (In the Friendly Sky),” which moves from sorrow to jubilation in a way that is second nature to the proud folks of New Orleans.

Customer Reviews

A worthy interp of a classic Marvin Gaye album

This is a great effort on the part the Dirty Dozen. A jazzy, brooding rendition of Marvin Gaye's classic album What's Going On. If your new to DDBB check out Back Jump. This album is a little less accesable then some of their other works, but it swings! Some of the guest vocals are a bit distracting, but the band keeps you foucused on the frustration at inner city black life that the original so eloquently expressed.

"It Makes Me Wanna Holler!"

.."Throw Up Both My Hands!"..What a Statement by New Orleans' own Dirty Dozen Brass Band! To completely "Remake & Renew" this most "Classic R&B Album" by the late, great Marvin Gaye; in it's entirety; track by track! {"What's Goin' On"; is: New Orleans is rebuliding & regenerating after Hurricane Katrina! "What's Happening Brother"is: It's not going to be an easy task; they are asking for our help! "Save The Children"; Yes, let's try and save all the children! "God Is Love"; with God, Time & Reconstruction; New Orleans will be great again!} "What's Going On" is a Contemporary Jazz/Pop/Rap/R&B Album; with Roots in the Past & it's Heart in the Present! (No one can predict the Future; but we can keep working towards it!) The Dirty Dozen Brass Band are "What's Happenin', Brother!" Grimmbo.


Formed: 1975 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

In their prime, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band 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 were...
Full Bio

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