The New Birth Brass Band: D-Boy
Not surprisingly, these players, for all their youth, have caught the attention of some big names. James Andrews, the 27-year-old trumpeter, has played with Wynton, Dizzy, Quincy Jones and Michelle Shocked(?!?). The other trumpeter is Derrick "Kabuki" Shezbie, whose solo album was produced by Delfeayo Marsalis a few years ago. The rest of the cast is Kerwin "Fat" Bernard Jones on tuba, Cayetano "Tanio" Hingle on bass drum, Kerry "Fat Man" Hunter on snare drum, and Reginald Steward on trombone.
Steward's playing is particularly noteworthy (see, for example, "D-Boy"). Jones' tuba is fleet on "I Ate Up the Apple Tree," "Spread Your Legs" and "You Got Yours," which sounds like Earth, Wind & Fire meets King Oliver (Andrews handles the lead vocals, but it sounds as if everybody joins in). On "Jesus on the Main Line (Tell Him What You Want)," "Li'l Liza Jane," "Whoopin' Blues" and "Mardi Gras in New Orleans," they sound most like a trad throwback, but the energy they bring to the proceedings will make no one wish he were listening to scratchy 78's instead. On "Ms. Lollipop," "Shakin' That Ass" and "Caribbean Second Line" the brass rings joyfully over a more contemporary (but thoroughly non-mechanized) beat. The synchronicity of the horns is sharp, but never overly glossy.
Highly recommended for anyone who loves brass bands, or just good music well and enthusiastically played.
Record Label: NYNO