The most interesting brass bands out of New Orleans tread the line between tradition and innovation — perhaps by using, say, sousaphones, trumpets and saxophones to play a Michael Jackson medley. As one of the first brass bands to break out of the South and gain national acclaim, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has tinkered with the formula (to the disgust of many purists) by adding guitars and a full drum kit amid the spit-valves. Last year the band responded to the destruction and governmental ineptitude following Hurricane Katrina by re-recording Marvin Gaye's What's Going On in its entirety, inviting guests such as Chuck D, Bettye LaVette and G. Love to recast Gaye's songs of social unrest and injustice. The album continues the band's twenty-year tradition of injecting the classics with modern relevance.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.