Preservation Jazz Hall Band & Del McCoury – American Legacies

January 01, 1970

(McCoury
Music/Preservation Hall Recordings)

 

www.mccourymusic.com

 

There’s
a reason that so many household-name musicians, including Phish’s Jon Fishman,
Bruce Springsteen, Alison Krauss and Kiss’ Paul Stanley, revere Del McCoury. He
may have made his musical name in Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys – specifically
when the bluegrass recognized McCoury’s extraordinary string playing and
incredible tenor and moved him to lead – but he doesn’t hold the rigid musical
viewpoint of that bluegrass great. (Monroe
is fondly remembered for deriding just about any music that wasn’t traditional
bluegrass.)

 

McCoury
not only enjoys various music – “whether I can picture myself playing it
or not” – but listens to them with the appreciation of an eager student
who yearns to jump into the mix. Perhaps that’s why the Del McCoury Band’s
teaming with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band goes down as easy as coffee with
chicory at New Orleans’
famed Café DuMonde. McCoury has long been a fan of the Preservation Hall Jazz
Band, actually inviting them to play at the Grand Ole’ Opry – arguably the
first time a tuba appeared on the legendary stage. That’s why it’s no big
surprise that McCoury teamed with the jazz greats to record.

 

Whether
they’re playing on McCoury’s side of the street – “One Has My Name (The
Other Has My Heart) and “The Bands in Town” to jazz standards such as
“Jambalaya” and “Shoeshine Blues”- the band mixes and blends
their sounds better than any Cuisinart appliance. In a surprise to no one, the
playing is, of course, exemplary. Pair the bluegrass kings with the finest New Orleans’ Jazz players
and what do you expect? The only arguable stumble is on vocals. The Grateful
Dead’s Jerry Garcia once told a magazine journalist that all his life, he only
wanted to be able to sing like McCoury. That’s why fans may feel a bit annoyed
that McCoury’s incredible voice is rarely heard on this collection.

 

Fair
enough. But that doesn’t mean the magic of the songs from these master
musicians is any less.

 

DOWNLOAD: “One Had My Name (The Other Has
My Heart),” “Jambalaya” NANCY DUNHAM

 

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