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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Lowdown Brass Band

Lowdown Brass Band

Review by Gary Hill

This album is a great release by the Chicago based horn band. For an interesting tie-in, Lance Loiselle of Treologic provides tuba for this outfit. The music is in the big band sort of territory, but there’s also some marching band sounds to it. That said, there isn’t a huge amount of variety in terms of style from track to track, but there is in terms of song structure and melody and they do include some vocals here and there (and a rap on the closer).

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Lowdown
Tuba leads it out here. It works forward from there in fine style. Eventually the whole horn section joins and we're into a killer jazz jam. They work through some killer shifts and turns on this hot tune. Around the three minute mark it drops to tuba and clapping hands. A full host of voices enter in a mode that makes me think of Parliament. In fact, I bet George Clinton would love this. The full cast returns after that section and really drive the whole thing home in style.
Tna
The general musical concept here isn’t that different from the previous track, but this is its own song for sure. There’s some dissonance towards the middle of the track and we get some killer instrumental work on this piece of music. This one remains strictly instrumental.
Down Low
If it’s possible, I’d say this is an even stronger piece than the two that preceded it. There are some extremely tasty melodies and instrumental lines. 
Scrimpin'
Here is just a brief (less than a minute in length) horn fanfare.
Concrete Jungle
There’s almost a movie soundtrack feeling to this cut somehow. It’s perhaps more accessible in terms of a “song” like melody than the preceding tracks.
Move Everybody, Everybody Get Up
There’s a swinging vocal section on this – with group vocals. The music here has a killer sound and feeling and this might be my favorite number on the set.
Jello Pudding
Another short piece, this is a tasty little jazzy instrumental.
F-ck With Dre/boilermaker
A two part track, this doesn’t vary a lot from the rest of the album in terms of styles, but when the music is this good, it doesn’t really matter. The percussion does seem a bit more prominent here.
Shake N Bake
Another short cut, this is quite tasty nonetheless.
2nd Line Hop
This works through a number of changes and actually includes a rap. It’s another strong cut (but there’s no weak material here) and a great way to close the set in style.
 
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