wed 19/06/2024

CD: Riot Jazz Brass Band - Sousamaphone | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Riot Jazz Brass Band - Sousamaphone

CD: Riot Jazz Brass Band - Sousamaphone

Is funky brass band music now A Thing?

Sousamaphone: keeps on trucking

When I used to work for the much-missed Face magazine, there was a phrase regularly used, only half in jest: “three things is a trend”. Which means that, unlikely though it might sound, hip hop marching bands are now a trend in leftfield club music.

First came the Hot 8 Brass Band, then the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, both from the projects of New Orleans, and both bringing a hip hop and funk sensibility to the generations-old brass tradition of that city – and now come the “peace-lovin' aggro dance” Riot Jazz Brass Band from Manchester, who regularly perform on stage with popular local rap/dance MC Chunky.

Though they refer to their hometown as “Mancsterdam”, presumably in reference to a strong... recreational culture in the north west, RJBB actually have less of a stoned lope than their New Orleans forebears. This album is zippy and lively, bringing in strong hints of other brass traditions, in particular swing jazz and Balkan wedding band sounds. At the same time it still retains the marching band sound, with the titular sousaphone oompah providing the striding core of the groove that keeps on trucking even as the rest of the band's lines spin off like fireworks. Though the lack of vocals on the recordings can tend to make the tracks blur into one, that's no terrible thing, as it's a joyous sound to get absorbed into, and offers a vivid taster of the festival atmosphere this band can conjure live.

Overleaf: watch a preview of Sousamaphone

Sousaphone oompah provides the striding core as the rest of the band's lines spin off like fireworks


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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