CD Review: ‘Jazz Party,’ Delfeayo Marsalis & Uptown Jazz Orchestra

Jazz Party
With Delfeayo Marsalis and Uptown Jazz Orchestra
Troubadour Jazz Records

When this CD arrived for review I thought that, if it were anything like he previously produced CDs, trombonist-bandleader-composer Delfeayo Marsalis would produce another musically challenging and thought provoking recording. He doesn’t disappoint.

As with his previously produced CDs including Southern Gentleman—a duo recording with his pianist father Ellis and Make America Great Again, recorded with his big band we get a sly tongue-in-cheek sociological essay along with an interesting commentary on how the recording was produced. Delfeayo composed and arranged most of the music whereas other band members also made contributions in the composition and arrangements. Delfeayo and his big band perform on most Wednesday nights at Snug Harbor on New Orleans’ Frenchman Street and this recording favorably reflects their work together.

As the name of the recording implies, this is upbeat, contemporary New Orleans party music. Any of this would be appropriate for a “second-line” celebration.

Along the sociological line, D. Marsalis has composed a tune he calls Mboya’s Midnight Cocktail. Liner notes indicate the Mboya is Delfeayeo’s autistic younger brother. There is a one-way conversation in a crowded bar between the cocktail waitress and the mute patron. And, on the last cut on the album, the composition is played again without the speaking part.

If well executed New Orleans party music is on your wish-list, this is a recording for you, but you’ll need to wait for the February release.

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