One of the first of a
younger generation of New Orleans brass bands to recognize the
inherent connection between New Orleans secondline funk and
contemporary hip hop, The Coolbone Brass Band broke out of the
Crescent City scene to tour and collaborate in the mid-‘90s with
such well-known musical artists as Wyclef Jean, David Byrne,
Busta Rhymes, Ziggy Marley, Lauryn Hill, De La Soul, and
The core and front
line of this innovative ensemble is built around four brothers:
leader Steven “Coolbone” Johnson on trombone, Ernest Johnson on
trumpet, Darryl Johnson on alto sax, and Ronell “Roo” Johnson on
tuba and trombone and tuba, with the four complemented by a
first-class rhythm section.
recording, the touring band is augmented by licks from one of
the most prominent young lions to emerge from the New Orleans
scene in many years, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, and on the final
six tracks, pianist Ronald Markham joins the proceedings to
create a sit-down, sextet, jazz setting.
The first ten tracks
celebrate the roots of New Orleans brass band music, marching
through the streets of the city playing everything from hymns
and dirges to swinging spirituals and funky dance tunes.
Through a series of
eight original compositions – check out “Jazzitize,” “Tromboniana,”
“Bird Be Free,” “It All Happened Here,” and more -- Coolbone
also recognizes the influence of modern jazz cats like Dizzy
Gillespie, Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, and The jazz Crusaders on
the band’s development.
Seamlessly mixing old
and new, The Coolbone Swing troupe is a unique and outstanding
musical achievement sure to delight jazz fans of every