Thursday, July 4, 2013

Preservation Hall Jazz Band Goes Original

Preservation Hall Jazz Band
That's It
Produced by Ben Jaffe and Jim James
Five Scoops of Bosco

Reviewed by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

I often wonder what it would have been like to live in the Jazz era of the 1930's and 1940's and hear some of that great music for the very first time.  Imagine hearing a recording of Cab Calloway's Minnie The Moocher or Benny Goodman's Swing, Swing, Swing or Tommy Dorsey Orchestra's Marie fresh from the vinyl right after it was released.

I probably got the closest to that experience this morning after listening to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's latest album That's It!

That's because for the first time in their over fifty year history, the institution known as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's latest album, due out July 9, is completely comprised of new and original material.

The trick when that is done is walking the tight rope between producing a recording that sounds original, yet sounds familiar.  If you know what I am trying to say.

Producers Ben Jaffe and Jim James (My Morning Jacket) have done just that wonderfully here.   Plus when it comes to PHJB you also want to try best as possible to replicate that live sound heard in their club in New Orleans.  Jaffe and James have managed to do that as well on the new album.

For the uninitiated, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band derives its name from the Preservation Hall located in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

The band is known for performing traditional New Orleans-style jazz. The musicians in the groups have varied during the years since the founding of the hall in the early 1960s.

Bands of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band perform at Preservation Hall on 726 St. Peter Street in the French Quarter, and tour around the world for more than 150 days a year.

The Preservation Jazz Hall is a wonderful place to sit and listen to some great jazz when in New Orleans, but I dare you to sit still while listening to this album.

From the opening track, "That's It!" this album is made for dancing and it wouldn't surprise anybody if it ushers in a new wave of swing dancers.

We may have a new Halloween song from this album.  Rattlin' Bones should get a lot of air play come October. Trombonist Freddie Lonzo sings the song in a voice that sounds somewhere between Boris Karloff and Dr. John and the song sounds like it is straight from the Graveyard.

The group swings into gospel in "Dear Lord, Give Me The Strength" and has a sophisticated "Out on the Town" feel with such numbers as "Sugar Plum", "Come With Me" and "Yellow Moon".

As their live performances, this new album by Preservation Hall Jazz Band is a pure joy to listen to and one that should garner awards in the Grammy Jazz category.

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