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Album Review

Delfeayo Marsalis Uptown Jazz Orchestra: Uptown on Mardi Gras Day


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Delfeayo Marsalis Uptown Jazz Orchestra: Uptown on Mardi Gras Day
Even though New Orleans' lively and colorful holiday festival is the focal point of trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis' Uptown Jazz Orchestra's latest recording, this is an album that can be heard and appreciated at any time of the year, as there is never a day when pleasure and happiness aren't in style.

Delfeayo, a member of the multi-talented Marsalis family from New Orleans that includes brothers Branford (who is a guest artist on two tracks), trumpeter Wynton and drummer Jason, salutes his hometown with a dozen iridescent songs that encapsulate its immeasurable heart and spirit, from a "Street Parade" to "Mardi Gras Mambo," "Uptown Boogie" to "Midnight at the Zulu Ball." The New Orleans vibe is strong throughout, rhythmically and melodically, as Marsalis and the ensemble press forward with verve and alacrity.

Among the several highlights is the propulsive "So New Orleans," on which guest vocalist/trumpeter Dr. Brice Miller offers a comprehensive vocal "tour" of the kaleidoscopic, jazz-oriented Crescent City. There are seven more vocals, four by Glen David Andrews, a pair by Andrew Braham ("Carnival Time," "New Suit") and one by Tonya Boyd-Cannon ("Uptown on Mardi Gras Day"). Delfeayo Marsalis solos on each of the four instrumental tracks, Branford Marsalis (tenor sax) on "Uptown Boogie," soprano sax on the closing "Mardi Gras Mambo," a second version of which features Delfeayo, tenor Roderick Paulin and bassist David Pulphus.

Andrews, who whistles as well as sings on the honky tonk-style "Big Chief," lends his gritty, rumbling voice as well to "All on a Mardi Gras Day," "Street Parade" and "They All Ask'd (or 'Ax-ed') for You." Baham and Boyd-Cannon, for their part, embody the New Orleans ethos with marginally less thunder. The Uptown Orchestra, clearly steeped in Crescent City lore, brings the music to life with ease, helping to make Uptown on Mardi Gras Day a delightful place to spend some time admiring the scenery while grooving to the sunny and expressive music.

Track Listing

Carnival Time; Uptown On Mardi Gras Day; Big Chief; Uptown Boogie; New Suit; All On A Mardi Gras Day; Midnight At The Zulu Ball; Street Parade; Mardi Gras Mambo; So New Orleans!; They All Ask'd For You; Mardi Gras Mambo (For the Jazz Cats).


Delfeayo Marsalis: trombone; Uptown Jazz Orchestra: band / orchestra; Branford Marsalis: saxophone; Glen David Andrews: trombone; Marvin "Smitty" Smith: drums.

Album information

Title: Uptown on Mardi Gras Day | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Troubadour Jass

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