Jambalaya Brass Band
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Jambalaya Brass Band

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Jazz Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"All About Jazz.com review of What You Lookin' At?- Jambalaya Brass Band"

“The Crescent City” is New Orleans’ nickname primarily for one reason: its shape. Starting in the French Quarter, the city’s bounds expanded along the curve of the Mississippi River, giving the city a shape that is essentially that of a toenail. This is mentioned only because this expansion didn’t stop there. Indeed, groups like the Jambalaya Brass Band are perfect examples of just how far-reaching the cultural influence of New Orleans remains. They look like a legitimate New Orleans brass band, and more importantly they sound like one, but don’t be fooled; these guys aren’t from the “Big Easy,” they’re from the “Big Apple.”
The band, led by tenor saxophonist Ric Frank, sports a hefty load of fun-loving funk on What You Lookin’ At, their debut recording. Not that these guys are amateurs by any means. Originally created in 1998 for a centennial celebration of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, the band started out playing covers by like-minded New Orleans brass bands including the Dirty Dozen, Rebirth and New Birth. It seems they learned well, because Jambalaya could stand side-by-side with most any New Orleans brass band in terms of sheer exuberance and energy. The album is a party from start to finish.
Things kick off with the aptly titled “Voodoo Queen” (dedicated to Marie Laveau, “the ultimate New Orleans voodoo queen”), a romp of a track complete with slinking tuba line, eerie, elongated trumpet lines and intersecting sax bumps and screams. The sound is at once tight, full of call-and-response and simultaneous theme statements, and loose and elastic. While the tuba holds down the fort, the percussion relaxes and gets a little busier, paving the way towards an increasingly energetic solo by alto saxophonist Joe Hrbek.
Three covers are present on the album—two by friends the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and one by Booker T. and the MGs—but you could hardly tell given the strength of Frank’s originals. The Dirty Dozen’s “Blackbird Special” is perhaps the strongest of these, if only due to the inherent strength of the track itself, but Jambalaya brings the same raw energy to it as they do to all of the tracks. In fact, much of the group’s strongest playing is present on the originals, where they seem more comfortable and thus more willing to really stretch out.
With its shouted intro, Latin-tinged theme and persistently heavy tuba work, the title track is one that makes a solid attempt at bringing what must be a great live show into the home. Indeed, much of the album exhibits that same unpretentious vibe, and the group surely seems to want nothing more than for its listeners to have a blast. Well they need not be disappointed, because with their debut recording they’ve done it.
-Henry Smith - All About Jazz.com


What You Lookin' At? - It'sAboutMusic.com iam-jbb-001



Jambalaya Brass Band is New York City’s ultimate New Orleans party band. They are available for performances with a s few as 5 pieces or as many as 9 pieces. Kickin’ it hard with a flavor straight from the streets of New Orleans, they pay their respects to the unique musical traditions of New Orleans by fusing the musical traditions of New Orleans brass bands with Latin, funk, and Be-bop flavors and mixing them in the stewpot of New York’s street sensibilities. They will take you on a historical journey through the New Orleans brass band tradition. It is a joyous romp starting from the early beginnings with Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong and ending up with their own modern sounds influenced by the Rebirth, Dirty Dozen and New Birth brass bands.

The band was created back in 1998 for the 100-year anniversary celebration of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, calling on friends and fellow faculty members. Ignited by that first performance, we decided to continue the project. Since that first parade the band has gone on to record a critically acclaimed CD and play for half-time shows for the New York Knicks and Liberty as well as the Britney Spears Super Bowl party and many other events and venues in the NYC region.