Tradition Meets Funk: review of ‘New Orleans Brass Bands: Through the Streets of the City’ (Smithsonian Folkways)

March 4, 2015 10:12 PM

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Tradition Meets Funk: review of ‘New Orleans Brass Bands: Through the Streets of the City’ (Smithsonian Folkways)

For even casual tourists, nothing signifies New Orleans like the sound of an approaching sousaphone (the tuba’s more portable cousin); the snaps, rolls and booms of snare and bass drummers in perfect yet pliable time; and syncopated lines and rich harmonies from horns and reed instruments. A brass band never fails to move those within earshot.

For locals steeped in the city’s culture, there’s more to it. As clarinetist and Xavier University professor Michael White wrote in his extensive liner notes to the new CD “New Orleans Brass Bands: Through the Streets of the City” (Smithsonian Folkways), “brass band-related activities have been a vi...

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