Terrence Higgins - drums; Jamie Mclean - guitar; Kevin Harris - tenor, vocals; Efrem Towns - trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals; Julius McKee - sousaphone; Roger Lewis - baritone sax, flute; Revert Andrews - trombone, vocals
The Dirty Dozen play for a lively and appreciative audience in Kyoto on this recording. The band is excited to be back in Japan, and frequently toast the audience with the Japanese word for cheers, "Kam-pai." The band plays for 90 minutes, including a brief encore, but based on the response to the query, "You wanna hear five more?," the audience could have listened 'til sunup.
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band has its roots in the early '70s, when various members formed the band out of the ashes of the Toronado Brass Band. Although they initially intended to do traditional New Orleans second line (marching brass band) music, the parade circuit where such bands performed was waning in popularity. This forced the Dirty Dozen to adapt with experiments in funk and jazz, like their cover of Charlie Parker's bebop tune "Bongo Beep," and their funky calling card "My Feet Can't Fail Me Now" (both included on this set). Their incorporation of, and collaboration in, a variety of styles—recently appearing on Modest Mouse's Good News For People Who Like Bad News, for example—has become a hallmark of their legacy.
At the time of this performance the Dirty Dozen was promoting Funeral For A Friend, which had been released in 2004 and dedicated to Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen, a legendary New Orleans musician who died just after the Dirty Dozen completed production on the record in January 2003. From that record, the Dirty Dozen plays "I'll Fly Away" (by early 20th century gospel composer Albert Brumley) and "John the Revelator" (written by Blind Willie Johnson in 1930), which is "dedicated to the late great, never forgotten, always remembered in New Orleans and around the world, the great Tuba Fats."
Sadly, six months after this performance, Hurricane Katrina struck The Dirty Dozen Brass Band's home city of New Orleans. Their most recent releases have been related to that disaster: They contributed a recording of Professor Longhair's "Mardi Gras in New Orleans" to the benefit LP A Celebration Of New Orleans Music To Benefit MusicCares Hurricane Relief 2005, and recorded a full-length version of Marvin Gaye's What's Goin On as their response to the devastation that clouded their joyous city.