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Published: 2005/04/04
by Brian Ferdman

This Is The Dirty Dozen Brass Band – Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Shout! Factory 31782

Thirty years ago The Dirty Dozen Brass Band formed, and soon after, they began turning the New Orleans Brass Band tradition on its head. Ushering in a brass band revival, The Dirty Dozen broke the mold by incorporating R&B, funk, bebop, and modern jazz into their sound, influencing countless younger brass bands along the way. Time has been kind to these men, as they're still pushing the envelope with tremendous success. Well, it's been 30 years and 10 albums, so why not release a greatest hits collection?

Each of their ten albums are represented on this anthology, and This Is The Dirty Dozen Brass Band succeeds in showcasing the many styles of music that comprise The Dirty Dozen sound. A great collaboration with Dizzy Gillespie on "Oop Pop A Dah" yields a true bebop sound, while the funk runs deep on both "Use Your Brain" and a live cut of "Charlie Dozen." A driving, Buddy Rich-style jazz arrangement propels "Hannibal," while the blues classic "Don’t You Feel My Leg" features guests Danny Barker and Eddie Bo on a thoroughly entertaining grind through the kind of raunch that can only be found on Bourbon Street. Of course, not to be overlooked is the dark turn taken on Marvin Gaye’s "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" that retains a cool and mysterious air.

New Orleans' musicians have learned that it's a good business practice to release a new album right before Jazz Fest, and This Is The Dirty Dozen Brass Band is certainly catering to the Jazz Fest market. Many tourists in town will undoubtedly be searching for a collection of staple tunes they’ve heard during their visit, and undoubtedly, cuts of "Mardi Gras In New Orleans," "Cissy Strut," and "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" will fit the bill. If they’re after a nice sampling of the Dirty Dozen catalog, they can’t go wrong with funky groovers like "My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now," "Blackbird Special," and "Bongo Beep." Hardcore Dirty Dozen fans might wish to see more original material on the album, but to be honest, this compilation is being marketed toward the Dirty Dozen virgin, and This Is The Dirty Dozen Brass Band is an appropriate way to lose your Nola cherry.

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