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The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own": The U.S. Army Blues Swamp Romp Voodoo Boogaloo

Nicholas F. Mondello By

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Like the bloodstream that flows through the body of jazz, the music and traditions of New Orleans percolates to this day. And, as jazz forms evolve, develop and turn back on themselves like a musical Moebius strip, New Orleans-style jazz will always bubble up, reminding all where it came from and where it is going.

Voodoo Boogaloo offers a lively, effervescent look at various New Orleans music types. The Swamp Romp, all members of the U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, is a first class band. Like the country they represent and from which they emanate, they are a diverse gumbo of phenomenal talent. Alabama's 'boneboy Harry Watters and Louisiana-born, trumpeter Graham Breedlove, head up the stellar group with a musical jambalaya that cooks with that very special hot Southern spice to it.

From the ballsy bass sax honkin' of David T. Brown at the get-go and throughout the session, the musicianship and collective send-up is swinging and sensational. Incorporating both funky-butt original compositions ("Voodoo Boogaloo," "Requiem," "Raoul's Cool Above Ground Pool," "Frenchman Street House Party" and "Musicians' Village"), traditional Orleans repertoire ("Tiger Rag," "Whoopin' Blues," "Milenburg Joys," "Just A Closer Walk With Thee") and covers of more current classics such as Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" and Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol's "Caravan," the Swamp Romp does just that—romps all across the musical board with gusto.

The great New Orleans-born trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, as well as the efforts of documentary-maker Ken Burns, certainly deserve significant credit for keeping the music of the Crescent City aflame. With this outstanding CD, the Army Blues' Swamp Romp joins that illustrious duo at the forefront of going "back to the future." Party on!


Track Listing: It Ain't My Fault; Voodoo Boogaloo; Caravan; Just A Closer Walk With Thee; I Wish; Requiem; Tiger Rag; Raoul's Cool Above Ground Pool; Whoopin' Blues; Milenburg Joys; Frenchman Street House Party; Jambalaya; You Are My Sunshine; Musicians' Village.

Personnel: SFC Harry F. Watters: trombone; SFC Graham E. Breedlove: trumpet, washboard; SFC David T. Brown: clarinet, baritone, bass saxophones; MSG John W. DeSalme: tenor saxophone; SGM Anthony W. Nalker: piano; MSG Steve Fidyk: drums, percussion; SSG Regan J. Brough: bass; CW5 Charles H. Vollherbst: banjo, resonator guitar.

Title: The U.S. Army Blues Swamp Romp Voodoo Boogaloo | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced

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