The resurgence of Brass Bands in New Orleans starting with bands like the Dirty Dozens led to the emergence of many such groups by the mid-nineties. One bar, the recently closed Donna’s, featured Brass Bands every night for many years. Many recordings have taken place, ranging from bands that were more traditionally oriented to others that infused street music and rap in their repertoire. A number of recordings also have documented these groups over the past few decades. One of my favorites from the 1990s was one by the Original Pin Stripe Brass Band that appeared on Orleans Records and is still available (check out www.louisianamusicfactory.com that has Your Last Chance To Dance and the bands more recent recording, I Wanna Go Back To New Orleans, in stock). The following review appeared in the September 1995 Jazz & Blues Report (issue 204).
Few types of music can be as invigorating as that played by a New Orleans Brass Band. The recent resurgence in such bands may be illustrated by such groups as the Dirty Dozen or Rebirth. Part of this revival of the brass bands is The Original Pin Stripe Brass Band who have an exhilarating album available (on Orleans Records) titled Your Last Chance to Dance.
Like other bands in the vein they mix parade tunes and hymns with blues and jazz classics. Opening is an exuberant hymn, Lord, Lord, Lord, “You’ve been so good to me,” they declare as the irresistible second line groove kicks off. The funk continues on Dave ‘Fat Man’ Williams’ I Ate Up the Apple Tree, With leader Herbert A, Margavey, taking lead vocal while punching out the groove on snare drum and others responded with a group vocal response before a bit of New Orleans polyphony in the instrumental portion. Rhythm & Blues classics like Higher and Higher and It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye are transformed with second line grooves, while other songs include spirited treatment of the legendary Paul Barbarin’s The Second Line.
Bands like this help keep the brass band tradition very much alive, and the album illustrates the observation of Jerry Brock in his liner notes that units like Pin Stripe may be traditional but are anything but stagnant. A wonderful collection of joyous music that will enliven any event.
I do not remember whether I purchased this CD or obtained a review copy.