|Next to restoring the old parade style, in the 1960’s, innovating the brass band sound did not stop. The “Jazz Begins” album (1958) by the Young Tuxedo BB showed a new alertness for the current musical tide. Their recording of “Joe Avery’s Piece” opened up a new type of repertoire, opting for freer soloing by all instruments, including drums.
The Dirty Dozen
In 1979 the Dirty Dozen BB sums up all the modern musical ideas and makes them fit the brass band mold.
- saxes play a leading role;
- the tuba is not restricted to chord-basics but plays riffing bass lines as in jazz, R&B and funk;
- comping parts of drummers, tuba and riff blowing wind instruments resemble the rhythm sections of R&B and funk bands;
- position of the tuba is no longer up front but in the back with the drummers
Double Drums modern style
- like the tuba, the drums meet with all funky standarts: bass drum and snare are taken from the rock drum set, sounding short and tight – no more the trad grand calfskinned basses;
- snare and bass play more intricate patterns, where the bass drummer takes advantage of the hand-held mallet;
- most patterns are straight, though, shuffles are still used;
- strong use clave rhythms like in N.O. R&B;
- Mardi Gras Indians type of percussion
Figure 5 – 8 basic pattern Dirty Dozen (coming soon)
The Dirty Dozen’s style of playing had much national and international acclaim and brought the New Orleans brass band phenomenon back to the public’s eye. Their mix of playing very up-to-date music in a traditional setting inspired many musicians, especially in Europe, to give their own trad brass line up a similar treatment.
The Rebirth Brass Band
The Rebirth perform together with the Wild Magnolias and make use of Mardi Gras Indian-type percussion – bottles, bells and clapping – and group chanting.
Figure 5 – 11 basic pattern Rebirth [coming soon]
Their version of “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”, played with Maceo Parker, shows the advantages of contemporary double drumming: snare and bass play variations that are nearly impossible to play on a one-man drum set.
Figure 5 – 16 [coming soon]
and more on <links>.
Also listen to the Soul Rebels and the Tremé Brass Band.
post modern brass bands
Alongside the funky innovations, though, several traditional bands reposition themselves in the scene from the eighties on. Amoung them the bands of Doc Paulin, Barry Martyn and Michael White. In 1983 the Excelsior Brass Band makes a great live record with drum master Freddie Kohlman. The album has two snare drummers, Stanley Stephens and Calvin Spears, and is titled "Jolly Reeds & Steamin Horns".