12 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

American Legacies is a vibrant meeting between two legendary bands representing two uniquely American forms of music: New Orleans jazz and traditional bluegrass. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a 50-year-old institution, and Del McCoury’s band smoothly intertwine their styles on a mix of original compositions and traditional tunes. Some tracks lean a bit closer to one style or the other but all of the songs mesh like they’re part of one musical family, revealing how much jazz and bluegrass have in common, especially the importance of improvisation as shown by the jaw-dropping skill of these musicians. The standard “I’ll Fly Away” begins with a gospel feel before veering into bluegrass territory and back again, Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya” rides a classic New Orleans second-line groove, and the Del McCoury-penned “Banjo Frisco” is a reminder that the banjo was used in jazz ensembles decades before the birth of bluegrass. And the joyous interplay among the musicians is the best part of this project, a joyous tribute to both bands.

EDITORS’ NOTES

American Legacies is a vibrant meeting between two legendary bands representing two uniquely American forms of music: New Orleans jazz and traditional bluegrass. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a 50-year-old institution, and Del McCoury’s band smoothly intertwine their styles on a mix of original compositions and traditional tunes. Some tracks lean a bit closer to one style or the other but all of the songs mesh like they’re part of one musical family, revealing how much jazz and bluegrass have in common, especially the importance of improvisation as shown by the jaw-dropping skill of these musicians. The standard “I’ll Fly Away” begins with a gospel feel before veering into bluegrass territory and back again, Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya” rides a classic New Orleans second-line groove, and the Del McCoury-penned “Banjo Frisco” is a reminder that the banjo was used in jazz ensembles decades before the birth of bluegrass. And the joyous interplay among the musicians is the best part of this project, a joyous tribute to both bands.

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