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The Dirty Dozen Brass Band: New Orleans' Revenge

Randall Grass, Musician, April 1984

PROPELLED BY a polyrhythmic shuffle from drums, the hot, festive chorus of horns danced into muggy night air through the open doors of Tipitina's down in New Orleans. The coordinated horn riffs sounded like prototypical James Brown horns except that the trumpeter was blowing a sort of updated Dixieland solo even as the electric bass stuttered out insistent funk. But inside Tipitina's there was no bass player — only horns and drums played by the eight musicians of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Two drummers, one with a snare and one with a bass drum, played standing up. Those booming basslines were coming from a tuba. That's right, a marching band was creating a new kind of musical parade and leading the sweating, swaying audience into uncharted musical territory.

Total word count of piece: 493


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