The songs that I chose are off the Preservation Hall Jazz Band CD title “Because of You”. It was recorded in December 1995 at the Ultrasonic Studios in New Orleans. Sony released it under the Sony Classical Listening Station label in 1998. The songs that I will use for my discussion are: Can Depend on Me” a tune written by Charles Carpenter, Louis Dunlap and Earl Hines. “Mama Don’t Allow It” by Sammy Can and Charles Davenport. “Petite Fleer” by Sidney Becket. The first song “You Can Depend on Me” uses the smooth vocals of Marvin Kimball the banjo player of the band.
It appears that the song uses a rhythm section comprised f the drums, upright bass and banjo using 4/4 rhythm with a steady medium tempo. The trumpet Is playing the melody and the clarinet playing a countermanded on the first chorus. When the vocals start, the Plano starts to play around the melody with what appears to be a muted clarinet possibly doing some call and response to the vocals. The next chorus gives rise to a solo by the trombone bending notes up and down. After the trombone solo, the trumpet solos with a bright flowering sound. The last chorus repeats the vocals.
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The music has a feeling of the early New Orleans Jazz n the sass. The next song Is “Mama Don’t Allow It” with Wendell Brumes doing the vocals. The song Is a very light fast tempo, 2/4 rhythm song with solos of all the Instruments. The words to the song describe, “Mama don’t want no playing around here. ” The vocalist uses a call and response to prepare the instrument for a solo. After the word verse is over the instrument named plays a solo that has an improvisation feel. Each solo keeps the melody of the song, however, it includes embellishments and their own timbre.
Again, the feeling of New Orleans Jazz comes o mind when listening to this piece. The last song used is “Petite Fleer” by Sidney Becket. The song employs Instruments only with a 4/4 rhythm by the drums and upright bass with a slow deliberate tempo and a feel of a slow tango. The clarinet plays a smooth mellow melody with the piano playing a counter melody and adding embellishments. Before the end of the chorus, the clarinet and piano end on an upbeat. Then, between choruses, a break is employed to build up tension, which is released by the clarinet In the next verse by bringing a downbeat.
The tune has a eel of familiarity that I believe Is early Jazz, however It Is probably better placed as a paper shows the versatility of the band. Depending on your mood there is a song for that feeling. The upbeat song of “Mama Don’t Allow It,” begs for a fun light-hearted atmosphere while hearing the solos of each instrument and how they contribute to the band as a whole. The steady and flowing muff Can Depend on Me,” provides a great background for relaxing and enjoying smooth listening sounds. Both these songs reinforced many concepts learned in class as to the form and style of New
Orleans Jazz and even today sound fresh without compromising the traditional sound of early Jazz. The last song “Petite Fleer,” is a timeless classic that sounds refreshing and new even today. The tune conjures up images off small little nightclub of eloquence where couples went to drink and slow dance. I can recommend listening to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band if you are looking for early Jazz styles while using today’s sophisticated recording techniques. A good sound system and this band playing on CD can bring back a feel of being there with the great performers of the early part of the century.