St. Peter & 57th St.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Rounder Records, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


In preparation for their 50th anniversary, the New Orleans based institution Preservation Hall Jazz Band recorded their Carnegie Hall show from January 7, 2012. Though the band has been releasing records since the '60s and have included dozens of members over the years, this live performance brings even more new names to the collaboration and features Allen Toussaint, Del McCoury Band, My Morning Jacket, Trombone Shorty, King Britt, Blind Boys Of Alabama, and GIVERS to name a few. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

With an hour of music here, there is a lot to digest from these long-championed jazz heroes. Fortunately, they spend a lot of time pushing the boundaries of their sound. “One More 'Fore I Die” aligns them with the bluegrass stylings of Del McCoury Band with comedian Ed Helms taking up banjo. Though this might seem like an odd combination for a jazz ensemble, it opens up a new dimension to their sound. “El Manicer” brings a breezy Latin influence to the table, sung in Spanish by Tao Seeger. Meanwhile, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs brings her inimitable vocal presence to “Careless Love.” Of course, they pay homage to their roots often, with “Bourbon Street Parade” being the quintessential Big Easy anthem and the uproarious “Tootie Ma” sounding right at home here.

Though the sheer amount of hands involved here allow for many different sounds, the album as a whole lends itself to lively energy and an accomplished blend of New Orleans jazz and blues with traces of country and gospel. This emerges as a fitting tribute to a band that have accolades as vast as the American Medal Of Art. The variety of current artists who play on this make this an ideal listen not only for fans of jazz but nearly every genre of music that exists today. A wonderful way to document their legacy and help preserve the music from their hometown, this is a glorious live album.

Rating: B

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