Hot Tamale Brass Band


The Hot Tamale Brass Band traces its origins to tradition of the colorful Dixieland bands that used to hold forth during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in New Orleans. It was not unusual at Mardi Gras, weddings, fairs, conventions, patriotic celebrations and other special occasions to see a dozen or more brass bands, or a Dixieland band making the environs of the Crescent city resound with the sounds of New Orleans Jazz.

As far as style - rhythmic, tonal and dynamic material - is concerned, New Orleans music and its tangential Dixieland band drew on many exciting sources: African polyrhythmic elements, black spirituals, work songs, and western and central European musical models which found their way to American shores.

The first outstanding Dixieland band exponent is generally acknowledged to have been Jack "Papa" Laine who attracted attention around 1892, when he organized a group known as the Reliance Brass Band. During the next dozen or so years, many Dixieland band players won recognition and by 1910 there were two main schools of Dixieland band styes of playing. The difference between them involved not so much instrumentation as it did the rhythmic characteristics of the music.

One school, usually identified with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, was exemplified by fast rhythms and rather staccato and agitated execution. The other school, usually identified with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, was identified by a smoother rhythm. Both had one characteristic in common - the fastening of syncopation and polyrhythmic ideas into one and two measure phrases repeated again and again.

If these two Dixieland band schools are used as a yardstick, the Hot Tamale Brass Band can be described as a synthesis of both, the end result...a great Dixieland band and a great funky second line New Orleans brass band.


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