Sunday, April 23, 2017

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band is truly a link to a time long ago. Even though this band trends much closer to be a jazz ensemble than a brass band they demonstrate many elements of the New Orleans tradition, and I believe it's important to recognizing their contributions to the spread of the genre. They also exhibit style of early brass band and jazz music that musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet would have played before become known throughout the world.

One of the reasons this band has been effective in spreading the New Orleans style sound is that their large stable of musicians allows them to maintain their regular schedule at Preservation Hall in New Orleans while keeping up a grueling touring schedule. To me, and important part of this style is being able to experience in person, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has played a large roll in making that possible for as many people as they can.

I think the record included below, Santiago, demonstrates the way the PHJB blends brass band music with the modern jazz ensemble format. This particular track is based on a latin beat which is carried mainly in the piano. Over the top of the driving rhythm you can hear the traditional party atmosphere over the top in the brass and reed sections. One thing that continues to shock me when listening to these records is how bands can bring the spontaneous atmosphere of a live performance into the recording studio.

1 comment:

  1. I saw these guys live and they were great! They were high energy and able to just jam out for hours. What was really cool is they featured a lot of collaborations and had a group called, The Suffers, and a EDM sax player called, Griz, both play with them while I was there.