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Dirty Dozen brings New Orleans attitude back to Luna's

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

There's a moment on the Dirty Dozen Brass Band's 2003 concert album, We Got Robbed - Live in New Orleans, that defines what makes this New Orleans horn ensemble so special. Halfway through their original tune "Dead Dog In The Street," the Dirty Dozen take off on a medley/jam that manages to link Sly Stone's "If You Want Me To Stay" and the Neville Brothers' "Fire On The Bayou."

Because the Dirty Dozen got their start in the late '70s as revivalists of the New Orleans funeral-band tradition, it's easy to peg them as traditionalists or musical archivists. But that would ignore what an eccentric group they truly are. How many other bands can you name that have covered Blind Willie Johnson, Funkadelic, and Jellyroll Morton; backed up Modest Mouse and Elvis Costello; and found a way to transform the sousaphone into a funk instrument?

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Sat, Apr 9
Luna Fine Music Club
6740 San Pedro
The tight brilliance of the Dirty Dozen's horn sound translates well to disc (check out their new career retrospective: This Is the Dirty Dozen Brass Band), but the novelty of their approach needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. While frequently placed in the jazz category, they're more accurately an R&B group with jazz inflections. But unlike so many horn sections rooted in R&B - the Memphis Horns, Tower of Power - they're never merely the icing on the musical cake. They are the cake, a full-bodied embodiment of the Crescent City's bluesy soul.

Gilbert Garcia

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