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Preservation Hall Jazz Band : Made in New Orleans: The Hurricane Sessions

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

When Katrina dumped six feet of water inside of Allen Toussaint’s famed Seasaint Studios in New Orleans, Benjamin Jaffe didn’t have high hopes for the recordings his father, Allen, had produced with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in the 1970s and ’80s. But the tapes were among few that survived, and the younger Jaffe subsequently took it upon himself to attempt to preserve Preservation.

Made in New Orleans is a lovingly curated document that honors the venerable institution. The boxed set, available in a few different collectors’ editions, contains a CD featuring both archival and new recordings of the group, and a DVD, as well as several reproduced artifacts: photographs, employment contracts, etc.-no two of the 504 numbered sets contain the same doo-dads. The DVD features low-grade (though no less fascinating) historical footage of PHJB in action dating back to the early ’60s, and a music video, created in 2005 shortly before the hurricane struck, set to an old-timey cover of the Kinks’ “Complicated Life.” Not surprisingly, though, it’s the music on the CD that best sums up what the traditional NOLA outfit is about.

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