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What would you get if you beefed up a New Orleans marching band with an extra complement of brass, sat it down, and then wrote up a whole bunch of funky arrangements for it? The Regal Jazz Band masquerading as Smitty Dee’s Brass Band.

Founded by saxophonist Butch Gomez, an alumnus of The Trémé Brass Band, and Dimitri Smith, formerly with the legendary Olympia Brass Band, The Regal Jazz Band is where funk and fun and swinging arrangements meet the traditional jazz repertoire that has been evolving in the Crescent City since the early 20th century.

For a quick lesson in funk and fun, check out the Regal’s take on “Darktown Strutters Ball,” with trombonist Sam Venable on raspy lead vocals, extended trumpet and trombone solos, and band charts that segue from tight, clipped choruses to the interwoven chaos of the classic Dixieland sound.

On “All Saints Day,” the band encounters the longstanding New Orleans tradition of the funeral dirge, using it as a jumping-off point for mournful blues soloing before settling into a slinky soul-jazz groove. On “(We All Scream for) Ice Scream,” call-and-response choruses traded over a rapid-fire snare-drum beat introduce staccato horn charts and a snazzy electric-guitar solo that make the tune’s rebounding rhythms the focus of pure musical fun.

Both “Glory, Glory” and Duke Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” feature the multi-part, cascading ensemble playing that marks the best New Orleans brass music, with one horn line sliding under another, while the musicians, in complete control, quite simply rock their souls to musical heaven.

Brass mastery, funkified ensemble arrangements, and highspirited good times – welcome to New Orleans brass band music, Regal Jazz Band style.
 

 

 

 

THE BIRD

DARKTOWN STRUTTERS BALL

FILE’ GUMBO

MAKE ME A PALLET

ALL SAINTS DAY

CHICKEN AIN’T NOTHING BUT A BIRD

ICE CREAM

MUSKRAT RAMBLE

GLORY GLORY

DON’T GET AROUND MUCH ANYMORE
 

 


 


 

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