Archive for Preservation Hall

CD Review: “That’s It” by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on July 3, 2013 by 30daysout

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By George Kovacik

My wife and I get 48 hours a year to be together all by ourselves and we usually spend that time around our anniversary in the great city of New Orleans. Our nightly trek usually starts at the legendary Pat O’Brien’s. We enter off of Bourbon St., walk through the crowd, get a blast of hot air from the big fire pit in the middle, and then make our way to the back and order a hurricane (a drink so powerful you only need one). We then stand around for a few minutes and people watch,  and when we are ready to leave, we walk out the back past the long line of people waiting to get into to see the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in the infamous Preservation Hall.

Preservation Hall was founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe as a way to preserve New Orleans Jazz. The building in the French Quarter was once a tavern in the War of 1812 and to this day has never received a “facelift.” Even though it has no air conditioning or any other modern day luxury, it’s packed every night by people eager to bop along to music played by some of the finest musicians in the Crescent City.

In the band’s illustrious 50-year history, it has never recorded an album of all original material…until now. That’s It, produced by Jim James of My Morning Jacket and director Ben Jaffe (son of the Hall’s founders) was recorded in the famed venue and is quite a delight.  Drummer Joe Lastie kicks the album into high gear on the album’s first track “That’s It,”  which also features stellar tuba work by Jaffe and a very creative trumpet solo by Mark Braud. “Dear Lord (Give Me Strength) is pure New Orleans dance music with a great gospel vocal. “Sugar Plum” almost sounds like it could have a rap over it like many of the songs on HBO’s Treme’ soundtrack.  “Rattlin’ Bones” has a Dr. John vibe, “I Think I Love You” and “Come With Me,” both sung by the legendary Charlie Gabriel, are as cool as the other side of the pillow, and the sultry “August Nights” is one of those ballads that would have been cool to here Frank Sinatra belt out with the band.

I will have to admit I am not a jazz connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination, but I really love the stuff that comes out of that little old building at 726 St. Peters. This new album, which comes out on Tuesday, is a fun, spirited collection of originals that will have you dancing and wanting to lift up your shirt for some beads. Okay, maybe that last part is just wishful thinking.

“That’s It” (NPR First Stream of entire album)

The Making of “That’s It”

Video Du Jour: Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , on September 26, 2012 by 30daysout

Another venerable music act is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and although they may not get the attention of the Rolling Stones or the Beach Boys, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is a great and vital piece of American music history.

The band, based out of historic Preservation Hall in New Orleans, is releasing a new album,  St. Peter and 57th. The album consists of live recordings from a show in Carnegie Hall and features special guests including tUnE-yArDs, Trombone Shorty, Yasiin Bey, Jim James, Allen Toussaint, Steve Earle and many more.

This is pretty sublime stuff, and if you can’t enough the band is also releasing a 4-CD, 58-track collection celebrating 50 years of Preservation Hall. You can check out both items on the official web site, and go here to download a free song – the band performing the Crescent City classic “St. James Infirmary” with Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Trombone Shorty.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band official web site

YouTube: Preservation Hall Jazz Band with the Del McCoury Band on “Late Night With David Letterman” in 2011