Neville Brothers, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ Hollywood Bowl 8/18/10
To anyone who’s spent enough time there, the sound of New Orleans music always evokes memories of instant parties breaking out where you stand; you’re just hanging around on the street and all of a sudden, there’s a band playing and people dancing for no apparent reason. Last week, the Bowl brought three of Louisiana music’s foremost living contributors to one place at one time and gave LA a taste of the real deal, played by old men the likes of which they don’t make any more. It proved to be a funky evening indeed, a masterclass in drumming, in making the most complex ideas flow like water.
Dirty Dozen Brass Band were already on stage as we trudged up the hill, and could be heard ripping up a storm. Theirs is an electrified marching band, one informed as much by soul and R&B as by Louis Armstrong, one that has no trouble jamming with both Chuck D and Govt. Mule . But whatever they’re playing, the smell of New Orleans is inescapable. You sense they could probably do a terrific “When The Saints Go Marching In” if they felt like it, and you’d be right.