The Dirty Dozen Brass band from New Orleans just finished up a four night residency at Blue Note on Sunday November 14. Fellow Orleans Cats Ivan Neville and Tony Hall of Dumpstaphunk checked out the brass band at the Note on Thursday before their two night sold out run at Madison Square Garden with Dave Matthews Band.
You never know who will stop in to New York City’s infamous Blue Note Jazz Club in Manhattan. Since the clubs history in 1981 it wasn’t uncommon to have Stevie Wonder appear on the Greenwich Village stage room that seats 250. Isaiah Sharkey and Cory Henry helped kick some funky neo soul beats from the club so far this year. During their Fall 2021 residency lasting over thirty days with Robert Glasper the club welcomed Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle to the Note.
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band helped keep the New Orleans groove in the village vibrant during their four night stay. The brass section consists of Kirk Joseph on jazz sousaphone, Roger Lewis on Baritone Sax, Calvin Johnson on tenor saxophone, Timothy Norris on Trombone and Gregory Davis on Trumpet and vocals. Guitarist Takeshi Shimura and on Drums Julian Addison. Sitting in during the residency were Dave Mullen & Rick Frank on horns.
Gregory Davis gave the club a bit of an angle on the bands influences that helped get every one up from their tables. Davis told the sold out Blue Note crowd,
One of our influences was James Brown. James always played music that people would dance to. So Get on Up! James would want to see you shake your tail feather.
To keep James spirit strutting down West 3rd street the dozen laid down a “Super Bad” jam that everybody on the Note stage stretched out on. Improvisation on a classic funk cut at its finest.
Davis also got to the crowd to partake vocally by turning their seats in to funk doctor chairs. “You know when your at the Doctor and he gets you to say Ahh?” “Do it just like that” The procedure worked as the crowd gave way in unison to their “Ahhs” that helped launch the band in to the classic New Orleans funk composition “Cissy Strut”
The world renowned New Orleans groove that was in Manhattan this past weekend from the Garden to The Blue Note was a vibe. It carved out some trenches from the Mississippi to the Hudson River, It created another musical niche with the other great Blue Note locations in Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan, Milan, Italy, Waikiki, Hawaii, Napa California, Beijing, China and Sao Paulo & Rio De Janeiro Brazil. When asked about performing at the Blue Note Tokyo legendary artist Steve Gadd told NYS Music the secret to playing any great gig.
I mean you always go off the audience. When you get it musically to a level where everyone on the bandstand is having fun and can hear each other and you can trust the audience is hearing it the way you are it gets to a spiritual level. In Japan or wherever you are, that’s the goal.