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Saturday, January 11, 2020

CD Review: Delfeayo Marsalis Uptown Jazz Orchestra - Jazz Party


(Review by Lance)

Whilst the Marsalis family may not have quite as many varieties as Heinz, they aren't far short. Wynton, Branford, Ellis, Jason and Delfeayo are the known ones, are there any more at home like these?

I find out there is at least one, but more about that later...

The current dynasty has laid down some impressive moments some of which have been northeast related.

Wynton has played concerts at both the Newcastle City Hall and, across the river, at Sage Gateshead. He even said "hello" to Crombie at the old Jazz Café on Pink Lane and Branford played Newcastle with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers as well as being a regular sideman with Sting.

Delfeayo, to the best of my knowledge, has yet to appear up north but, on the strength of this album, he would be more than welcome.

New Orleans has always distanced itself from the rest of the American jazz scene. Although its influence was widely spread and the backbone of what the music was to become, a lot of the musicians who stayed at home moved in a different direction. The blues, a touch of country, brass  bands, and some rock and roll found its way into the indigenous music of the city and that feeling is embedded here.

There's a big band feel too. Not your slick swing band stuff but maybe a Texas territory band - Texas ain't too far from Louisiana - or an early Hampton big band. However, this isn't recreating the past, it's reinventing it for the future.

Delfeayo blows some hoary trombone throughout and Roger Lewis provides subterranean baritone saxing - this really is a jazz party and everybody's dancing - I should know, I'm forming a second line in my bedroom several thousand miles away. The men in the white coats will be coming shortly but, when they hear the music, they too will be joining the parade (I hope!)

So much variety, Delfeayo triple tongues trombone like a couple on a hot date whilst, Roderick Paulin is as laid back as Lester.

Raid on the Mingus House Party is everything you'd expect a Mingus house party to be! The horns shout and scream - this is Mingus Ah Um and even more! Charles should have been here, as it is, nobody lets the great man's memory down - wow!

Mboya's Midnight Cocktail. This brings in the Marsalis I referred to earlier, not in person but by inspiration. Mboya is a fantasy related to Delfeayo's autistic, non verbal, younger brother, who, nevertheless, likes being suited up and has a disposition that appeals to certain ladies. The vocal, by Karen Livers, is the sexiest vocal I've ever heard!

Dr Bryce Miller raps So New Orleans with Big Easy references before blowing hot trumpet to suit.

Such a fantastic disc there's no need for a further blow by blow track treatise - apart from the final track, an instrumental version of Midnight Cocktail.

Here the theme is about that time around last orders when everyone is loaded and the conversations are not linked. The Mingus influence is here with a touch of Duke. It builds up amazingly.
Tremendous!
Lance.

Scott Frock, Andrew Baham, Dr. Brice Miller, John Gray, Michael Christie (trumpets); Delfeayo Marsalis (MD), Terrance Taplin, Christopher Butcher, T.J. Norris (trombones); Khari Allen Lee, Amari Ansari, Scott Johnson, Roderick Paulin, Trevarri Huff-Boone, Roger Lewis (saxes); Gregory Agid (clarinet); Kyle Roussel, Ryan Hanseler (piano); David Pulphus (bass); Detroit Brooks (guitar); Joseph Dyson Jr., Alexi Martey, Willie Green, Raymond Weber Jr. (drums/percussion); Tonya Boyd-Cannon, Karen Livers, Dr. Brice Miller (vocals).
Rhythm section and vocals are collective personnel.

Available Feb. 7 on Troubadour Jass Records.

1 comment :

Russell said...

Drummer Jason Marsalis was with Marcus Roberts at the 2012 Gateshead International Jazz Festival.

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