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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 “If it Takes Forever (I Will Wait For You),” from the film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Bayou Jazz Band hurtles full-speed ahead with covers of perennial hit-parade music (“Maple Leaf Rag,” and "Saint James Infirmary.”). 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.

 
   

 

 

IF IT TAKES FOREVER

OLD GRAY BONNET

MAPLE LEAF RAG

OLD MILL STREAM

MARYLAND, MY MARYLAND

CAKE WALKING BABIES FROM HOME

MILNEBURG JOYS

SAINT JAMES INFIRMARY

WININ BOY BLUES

GEORGIA CAMP MEETING

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