Ultimate Rebirth Brass Band

Ultimate Rebirth Brass Band

New Orleans brass bands have been around since the 19th century, but in the ‘70s and ’80s a new crop of groups emerged. Outfits like the Rebirth Brass Band introduced elements from R&B, funk, hip- hop, and modern jazz into traditional music that is famous for its irresistible marching rhythms. (Tuba player Philip Frazier; his brother, bass drummer Keith Frazier; and trumpeter Kermit Ruffins were among the musicians who founded the group in 1983.) This 2004 best-of collection is a great party album. The drums and tuba drive the muscular horn section, the soloists burn, and the players often break into chant or sing along with the funky grooves. Ultimate displays quite a range. The comp includes covers of the Bill Withers and Grover Washington hit, “Just the Two of Us,” and the Miles Davis classic, “All Blues,” and for good measure, a Bob Marley tune gets tossed into “Let’s Do It Again.” But the music hangs together since the band New Orlean-izes everything it touches; call it a musical gumbo. This is a joyful batch of tracks by one of the best groups in the genre.

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