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CD Review: Euphoria Brass Band's "Coast to Coast"

**** stars out of five

1,815.7 miles from the mother ship of New Orleans the NOLA revival continues here on the West Coast. The Euphoria Brass Band, a San Diego group steeped in the traditional sounds of the second line has self-released their debut, Coast to Coast. Mixed and mastered by Mike Hogan at Necromancer Digital in New Orleans the dozen tracks sizzle and snap with the energy, rare as it may be, of an art form that is a hundred years old if it is a day. NOLA, meaning New Orleans-Louisiana describes a tradition that extends from the oldest form of jazz - Dixieland - and that has seen a couple of revivals: once during the '50s and later in the '80s. Now, there are a handful of such bands that get regular play on jazz radio including Stanton Moore, the Rebirth Brass Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Galactic, Bonerama (sorry - they trip my odious meter) and at the extreme indie end of things, the Revivalists. Why all the fascination with second line? Because the music has to do with death.

Second line was a funerary tradition in the New Orleans of old. The first line would consist of a decedent, relatives, and a brass marching outfit. Those who followed in swagger, stutter-step, or waving parasols or white hankies were called the second line. These are the roots of an art form now many generations removed. Today, second lines more often than not exist for the sole purpose of the enjoyment of the music. Call it a jazz funeral without a body, which Coast to Coast acknowledges with their cover of "Just A Closer Walk With Thee," and possibly "Whoopin Blues" and Abdullah Ibrahim's "The Homecoming Song." Originals by bari saxist JP Balmat and tubist Wayne Rice and David Bandrowski, a New Orleans transplant who plays guitar and banjo give the Euphoria soloists a chance to punch the energy through the roof, which by the end of a day is the real job of any brass band: to leave us in a better place.

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**** stars out of five

1,815.7 miles from the mother ship of New Orleans the NOLA revival continues here on the West Coast. The Euphoria Brass Band, a San Diego group steeped in the traditional sounds of the second line has self-released their debut, Coast to Coast. Mixed and mastered by Mike Hogan at Necromancer Digital in New Orleans the dozen tracks sizzle and snap with the energy, rare as it may be, of an art form that is a hundred years old if it is a day. NOLA, meaning New Orleans-Louisiana describes a tradition that extends from the oldest form of jazz - Dixieland - and that has seen a couple of revivals: once during the '50s and later in the '80s. Now, there are a handful of such bands that get regular play on jazz radio including Stanton Moore, the Rebirth Brass Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Galactic, Bonerama (sorry - they trip my odious meter) and at the extreme indie end of things, the Revivalists. Why all the fascination with second line? Because the music has to do with death.

Second line was a funerary tradition in the New Orleans of old. The first line would consist of a decedent, relatives, and a brass marching outfit. Those who followed in swagger, stutter-step, or waving parasols or white hankies were called the second line. These are the roots of an art form now many generations removed. Today, second lines more often than not exist for the sole purpose of the enjoyment of the music. Call it a jazz funeral without a body, which Coast to Coast acknowledges with their cover of "Just A Closer Walk With Thee," and possibly "Whoopin Blues" and Abdullah Ibrahim's "The Homecoming Song." Originals by bari saxist JP Balmat and tubist Wayne Rice and David Bandrowski, a New Orleans transplant who plays guitar and banjo give the Euphoria soloists a chance to punch the energy through the roof, which by the end of a day is the real job of any brass band: to leave us in a better place.

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photo credit: Nico Ricoy

March 28, 2012

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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