Terrence Higgins - drums; Jamie Mclean - guitar; Kevin Harris - tenor, vocals; Efrem Towns - trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals; Julius McKee - sousaphone; Roger Lewis - baritone sax, flute; Revert Andrews - trombone, vocals
From the muddy mouth of the Mississippi marches a rich musical heritage, and leading the procession into the next millennium is Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Since the early 1970s when founding members first convened as part of New Orleans' Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band, whose other notable alumni include Wynton and Branford Marsalis, the Dirty Dozen have been pumping out the genuine article while generously updating their more traditional foundation with modern elements of funk and R&B.
The band lives up to their name during this lengthy 2003 set at TwiRoPa, a lively hometown venue that sadly succumbed to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina; over the course of 12 highly embellished tracks the Dozen dishes its funk so thick you'll want to baste it on a rack of ribs. Though the loose and rockin' rhythm section certainly hints at influences from the latter part of the 20th century, a strong commitment to the musical legacy on which they cut their teeth can be heard in the tight horn arrangements and spirited call-and-response.
While the people of the Crescent City work valiantly to rebuild in the wake of devastating disaster and the criminal negligence that followed, groups like The Dirty Dozen Brass Band soldier on, bringing their unique regional culture to the rest of the world. With a strong identity, buoyed by the joy of music and touted by talented local musicians, the city will surely persevere and thrive. As they still say in New Orleans, "laissez les bon temps rouler!"
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