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New Orleans Nightcrawlers: Funknicity

This is New Orleans parade and party music, but with a sophisticated difference that takes it a step or two beyond efforts by other bands like the Dirty Dozen. The rhythmic concepts come from the street; you can practically see the second liners grooving behind the band. The harmonies are often influenced by bebop. When a soloist like trombonist Rick Trolsen, trumpeter Barney Floyd or tenor saxophonist Eric Traub gets into them, the music deepens.

The arrangements, mostly by virtuoso sousaphone player and percussionist Matt Perrine, are complex without interfering with the party spirit. In the midst of all the boogie-ing and carrying on, comes Perrine’s “Auz,” a slow piece whose dignity and mystery are enhanced by solemn percussion effects, a brass choir and an atmospheric clarinet solo beautifully intoned by Jason Mingledorff. It is an aspect the Nightcrawlers might profitably pursue further.

Originally Published