Leroy Jones: New Orleans Brass Band Music Vol. 2 (with Wendell Brunious) (Independent)

todayJuly 25, 2023 4

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Fans of traditional New Orleans-style brass bands are going to dig this album that pairs two of this city’s ace trumpeters in the genre, Leroy Jones and Wendell Brunious. The selections will be 99 percent familiar to lovers of classic material and for that matter, most folks in Crescent City. After all, who hasn’t heard “The Old Wooden Cross,” at least in passing?

This marks the first time Jones and Brunious have recorded together and their side-by-side during the ensemble works along with several different trombone players. The constants in the group include Alonzo Bowens on tenor sax, Brian Lewis on snare drum and Katja Toivola on bass drum. Rob Espino is also in that number with his sousaphone prominent on most cuts. Naturally, the star trumpeters each take spotlight solos. Though they boost their own individual flair, there are moments when one might say, “Oh, that’s Wendell, well no, that’s Leroy Jones.”

Many of the tunes begin with a drum roll and then the traditional call of the trumpet to alert the band. It’s a simple touch though, one that speaks to the strive for authenticity.

Some special guests join the “parade,” most notably trombonist Freddie Lonzo on the chestnut, “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby.” Okay, there’s no mistaking Freddie for any other trombone player in the world. He’s got that “dirty,” growling sound and here, as always, adds a ton of humor. Leroy Jones’ arrangement for this old standard is just terrific and offers a rather staggered rhythmic feel. Who knew this tune could sound so hip?

Cool that a bow was given to the modern brass band sound by ending the release with “One for the Young Bloods.”

Leroy Jones‘ creative arrangements of all of the material combined with the historic meeting of he and Wendell Brunious plus a bunch of guys who know this music sets New Orleans Brass Band Music Vol. 2 apart from the ordinary.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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