Dirty Dozen Brass Band Buck Jump

If you like your tubas lively, you'd best start here. The very notion of all-brass marching bands was born in New Orleans and their unique, soulful sounds have been adding life into funeral marches since death became popular. It could be easily argued, however, that anyone who can't enjoy the spirit, humour and good times energy of DDBB's playing may be beyond saving. This time out is no exception, Buck Jump marks their eighth recording, produced by Medeski Martin & Wood’s John Medeski. An all-horn octet (save two drummers, snare and bass Medeski's somewhat scene-stealing keyboards), the DDBB manages to glue one world's musical heritage to a hybrid of their own making. One listen to "Duff," or the baritone-basted "Time" marks a quick intro to DDBB's special gift. Part Dixieland jazz, part ragtime, part chaotic jam and occasionally pop, their progressive weave of influences embraces both the tradition of New Orleans marching band polyphony and no tradition at all. Hence, their wild abandon to cover whatever they damn well please. Louis Jordan's "Run Joe" is DDBB's answer to swing fever, including ragged vocals. The more Latino-sounding "Pet The Kat" demonstrates their collective ability to recreate Cuban soul. A remake of Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues" further demonstrates their versatility and unerring ability to reinvent a classic tune. Nothing is sacred and therein lies their humour and healthy outlook. Buck Jump continues the DDBB legacy and is a worthy addition to their arsenal of street party music. These guys know how to show the dead a good time. You could do much worse. (Mammoth)