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The all-white Original Dixieland Jazz Band, emerging from New Orleans to spread the jazz gospel to white audiences throughout the U.S. and England in the early 1920s, is credited with the making the first commercial recording in 1917 of the new American music, called “jazz” and played mostly by black musicians. But with the passing of time, Dixieland has come to occupy a place in jazz history not unlike blue-eyed soul and contemporary Americana. In the mid-1970s, a fertile time following the British Invasion, musicians across the Louisiana Gulf Coast were rediscovering their cultural roots in Cajun, R&B, and brass band music.

The Bayou Jazz Band took full advantage of this creative atmosphere, combining musicians from The 500 Club -- a strip joint then located on Bourbon St. -- with musicians playing across the street at Your Father’s Mustache. The result is not only an album of outstanding musicianship -- jazz played “clean,” tight, and with unrelenting, pulsating momentum -- but also an unavoidable lesson in American music history as tunes from the early 20th century come to life in a style that resembles the contemporary swing-band roots movement.

Kicking things off with “Thunder and Blazes,” a favorite of traveling circuses during that period, The Bayou Jazz Band hurtles full-speed ahead with covers of hit-parade music (“Oh, Didn’t He Ramble,” and "Doctor Jazz.”). The Bayou Jazz Band revives these classics with a contemporary feel, featuring prominent banjo accompaniment, sleekly styled arrangements, and flawless instrumental virtuosity.

Make no mistake about it, The Bayou Jazz Band has created a timeless classic here that definitely deserves being reissued, perfectly blending both the spirit of early Americana and oldtime jazz with irresistible, high-spirited playing and unbridled enthusiasm.

 
   

 

 

THUNDER AND BLAZES

TIGER RAG

OH, DIDN’T HE RAMBLE

YES SIR, THAT’S MY BABY

TIN ROOF BLUES

STRIKE UP THE BAND

TIE A YELLOW RIBBON

JUST A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE

SOUTH RAMPART STREET PARADE

DOCTOR JAZZ

THAT’S A PLENTY

   
 

 

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