150-gram vinyl, album download included
Second album of all original songs
Produced by Dave Sitek from TV On The Radio
Music influenced from a recent trip to Cuba
The NOLA boys have taken two of jazz's most exciting styles and created "convergence."
"Buried somewhere in the fathoms of YouTube is a recent clip of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, apparently filmed with a smartphone in Santiago de Cuba. The band, synonymous with the ebullient spirit of New Orleans, is playing a staple of its book, Professor Longhair's "Go to the Mardi Gras." What's notable about this version of the song, from December of 2015, is the punchy assist provided by some Cuban percussionists, who fall right into step with its second-line groove." — NPR Music
The musical connection between Cuba and New Orleans, which runs deeper than many listeners realize, forms a strong subtext on the next Preservation Hall Jazz Band album, So It Is. Made up entirely of original tunes — composed by bassist and bandleader Ben Jaffe and longtime tenor saxophonist Charlie Gabriel, with a few other contributors — it's an album that doubles down on Afro-Cuban clave, along with what Jelly Roll Morton once termed "the Spanish tinge."
That confluence of factors rings especially loud and clear on "Santiago," the album's lead single, jointly written by Gabriel and Jaffe. Rather than buoyant second-line rhythm, the track features an Afrobeat groove, frenetic but taut. There's a bravura trumpet solo by Stephen Lands, and some peppy background blaring by trombonist Ronell Johnson. The whole performance has a live-wire crackle, recalling the spirit if not the style of the Mardi Gras descarga from that YouTube footage.
1. So It Is
4. La Malanga
6. One Hundred Flies