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Preservation Hall Jazz Band: The 50th Anniversary Collection

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In simultaneously looking back and forward, these two releases by the Preservation Hall band, in celebration of the Hall’s 50th anniversary, are a reminder that while individuals and styles pass and change, it’s the spirit of the music that lives on-and what a joyful spirit it is. “We thought we should release these two projects at the same time because we wanted the collection to be a reflection of who we were and who we are,” explains Ben Jaffe, 41, bass and tuba player and creative director of the Hall, a New Orleans institution his parents helped found and develop. “And we knew that the Carnegie Hall concert would be a statement: ‘This is who we are today, and this is where we are moving in the future.'”

Produced by Jaffe and Michael Cuscuna and informatively annotated by Bruce Boyd Raeburn, curator of Tulane University’s Hogan Jazz Archive, the four-CD The 50th Anniversary Collection features gems from all of the major recordings by the Hall’s bands. As if to underscore the continuity over the years despite the changes, including those due to the passing of some of the Hall’s most celebrated members, the tracks are deliberately not organized chronologically-and the overall effect is invigorating.

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