The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
The Other Black
132 Laporte Ave
Fort Collins, CO, 80524
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM
Watch & Listen
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
To describe how the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has arrived at its 35th Anniversary, trumpet player Gregory Davis employs a tried-and true New Orleans-centric analogy: “It ends up being like a pot of gumbo – you drop in a little okra, drop in a little shrimp, you drop in some crabs. Before you know it, you’ve mixed in all these different ingredients and you’ve got a beautiful soup. That was our approach to music early on and it still is today.”
Baritone sax player Roger Lewis — who, like Davis, has been with the combo since its inception in 1977 — echoes that sentiment: “It’s a big old musical gumbo, and that probably made the difference, separating us from other brass bands out of New Orleans. It put a different twist on the music. We were not trying to change anything, we were just playing the music we wanted to play and not stay in one particular bag.”
An appetite for musicological adventure, a commitment to honor tradition while not being constrained by it, and a healthy sense of humor have brought the world-traveling Dirty Dozen Brass Band to this remarkable juncture in an already storied career. To celebrate its 35th, the band is releasing Twenty Dozen, the septet’s first studio release in six years. The new album, cut at the Music Shed in New Orleans, reunites the band with producer Scott Billington, who helmed DDBB’s first major-label release, Voodoo, in 1989. It’s a resolutely upbeat effort that seamlessly blends R&B, jazz, funk, Afro-Latino grooves, some Caribbean flavor, and even a Rihanna cover. Twenty Dozen mirrors in flow and feel a vibrant DDBB live set. The disc reaches an exuberant peak with a medley of New Orleans staples, including a particularly high-spirited rendering of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The final track – or, as Lewis puts it, “the after-party” – is an audience encore favorite, the ribald “Dirty Old Man,” with Lewis doing an outstanding job in the title role. Twenty Dozen, says Lewis, is “classic Dirty Dozen. It’s got something for your mind, body, and soul. We’re gonna get you one way or another.”
Twenty Dozen is also very much a group effort, with each of the members – Davis, Lewis, tenor-sax man Kevin Harris, trumpeter Efrem Towns, sousaphonist Kirk Joseph, drummer Terence Higgins and guitarist Jake Eckert — bringing original compositions or arrangement ideas to the sessions. It kicks off with the light-hearted funk of “Tomorrow,” segues into the jazzier “Jook” then heads into the party-hearty island groove of “Best Of All.” Billington suggested DDBB cover Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music,” and the group’s reinterpretation is as ingenious as it is fun. The tough, seventies-style soul of “We Gon’ Roll” supplies the most serious moment, as composer Higgins pays tribute to the indomitable nature of his fellow NOLA residents. As Davis – whose own “Git Up” is a smoking jazz workout — explains, “Just about everybody had a song or something they wanted to contribute. As we started to record the songs and listen to them, each song seemed to fit not just with the character of the individuals who wrote them but the character of the band. We are the Dirty Dozen and it’s the overall character of the band that makes the live show work –and that makes this record work. Had we planned to make a certain kind of record, it might not have come out like that. In letting the guys’ voices speak and come out on their own, the album turned out this way.”
The traditional numbers at the tail end of Twenty Dozen serve as a reminder of how the group, since the beginning, has tried to reinvigorate the standards and build a bridge between old and new. Says Davis, “Over the last few years we have been doing a medley that has included ‘Paul Barbarin’s Second Line,’ ‘E Flat Blues’ and ‘Saints.’ It had been going over so well that we thought maybe we needed to capture the spirit of what we’re doing with this medley and put it on a record. ‘Saints’ is one of the most requested songs we do and you have to face the challenge of playing that song so many times. But once you get that started and see the smiles on people’s faces and they start dancing to it, it makes you want to do it a little bit more. In the studio, I was envisioning different scenes from our audiences. I’d remember the reaction I would get attempting to get people up to dance, to do certain steps and follow me. It made it so much fun to remember the faces, the smiles, the body movements of the people. To get them up, to get them sweating — it’s always a pleasure.” Listening to this new “Saints” rendition on disc has the same effect: it’s impossible to remain in your easy chair. Davis considers this and, laughing, imagines a new opportunity for the band: “Maybe we need to sell this as a work-out CD.”
The Other Black
The journey begins…
A vast but barren landscape unfolds before us.
Hopeless, without direction.
Still. Cold. Dormant.
In the distance the vague shape of a lone astronaut can be seen. Lost in thought he wanders, seemingly without purpose.
Hands in his pockets and head in the infinite mist, he’s shocked as he stumbles away from his reverie and into a glorious mountain range painting the horizon.
It is here that he encounters a wily outfit.
And it is also here that he is mystified to hear they've all met before.
So, with no recollection of these individuals, he chooses to enjoy their company for a while and over time…
…he starts to recall…
…at one point this is was his family.
…it was his drive to change their collective struggle that separated them for a time…
…it was his voyages across space and time that left them stranded in this barren landscape…
…it was his experience with the universe that stole his identity…
…it was the reminder of One that led him to awaken, aimlessly wandering a barren planet…
…and it is his reconnection with this family that reunites him with his true purpose.
Now, united once more, Other Black sets out to enlighten, encourage, and empower the universe.
It is their dynamic personality and their everlasting drive that brings individuals of all walks to laugh and cry with our band of merry pranksters.
Once again, Hope reemerges for the galaxy…
$22.00 - $25.00
PLEASE NOTE, WE ARE A STANDING-ROOM ONLY VENUE.