Rebirth Brass Band, Luke Winslow King | SPACE | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Rebirth Brass Band, Luke Winslow King All Ages Early Warnings (Music)

When: Fri., May 27, 8 p.m. 2011

Formed in 1983, when most of its members were still in their teens, Rebirth Brass Band long ago established itself as a New Orleans institution, despite regular personnel turnover, and the terrific new Rebirth of New Orleans (Basin Street) expresses post-Katrina optimism for the group's hometown in its self-referential title. The record mixes pop standards served up in avuncular post-Dixieland style ("Exactly Like You"), Crescent City staples (Dave Bartholomew's "Shrimp and Gumbo"), and original tunes that flirt with the band's raunchy side ("I Like It Like That")—few acts can juggle family-friendly Carnival spirit with hip-hop-derived nastiness like Rebirth Brass Band (e.g., their irresistible 2001 song "Pop That Pussy"). The group pits precision and rawness against each other in a tug-of-war—chunky, funked-up second-line rhythms muss up jazz-grade solos and sharply contrapuntal brass lines. But as good as this record is—as good as all the band's records are, for that matter—it's a poor substitute for one of their live shows. Onstage, the ensemble not only knocks down the fourth wall but feeds on the audience energy that comes pouring through, pushing the rowdy fun into the red. —Peter Margasak Rebirth Brass Band will return to town June 12 for a New Orleans homage that's part of the United Sounds of America series at Symphony Center; they'll perform along with saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. and narrator Wendell Pierce of the HBO series Treme

Price: $30, $25 in advance

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