Blues and Brass CDs
Gary Edwards
PO Box 770616
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 352 1303

Treme Brass Band
I Got A Big Fat Woman
SONO 1029
$15.00 + $3.00 S&H

Just how good is the Treme Brass Band? Good enough to be named 2006 National Heritage Fellows by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Anchored by snare drummer Benny Jones, the band's leader, and bass drummer "Uncle" Lionel Batiste - the sharpest looking septuagenarian you'll ever meet - the band is named for the Treme neighborhood just north of New Orleans' French Quarter, one of the oldest black neighborhoods in the country and a real haven for brass-band music.

Snare drummer Jones and bass drummer Batiste were both founding members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band a quarter-century ago, but neither wanted to tour full-time, so they formed a stay-at-home band that has become a kind of "finishing school" for an entire generation of up-and-coming New Orleans brass band musicians.

And on any given night in a backstreet barroom, a Treme Brass Band set can take you almost anywhere, from classic jazz, like "All of Me" or "Darktown Strutters Ball," to hip classics, like the Hugh Masekela hit, "Grazin' in the Grass."

And the band can really tear it up, with extended jams and virtuoso solos their specialties, on classic brass-band repertoire, like "I Found a New Baby" or the hilarious "I'll Be Blad When You're Dead (Yu Rascal, You)." They can swing the pants off audience favorites, too, like "Wonderful World" or a spirited "When the Saints/Mama Don't Allow" medley.

This is a classic, funky New Orleans brass-band music, recorded live in the studio, and just one listen will easily demonstrate why the National Endowment for the Arts named the Treme Brass Band a national treasure.


© 2011