Album Reviews

Preservation Hall Jazz Band 4/21/2017

So It Is

Artist:     Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Album:     So It Is

Label:     Legacy

Release Date:     4/21/2017

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Welcome to a New Orleans sound. PHJB’s latest release, So It Is, opens its arms to listeners with “So It Is” and their signature big band sound, but the album itself has a different feel than usual—still fun, still a love letter to their hometown—yet fresh and redefining.

On So It Is, you’ll hear songs influenced by the band’s recent trip to Cuba, giving fans the chance to experience New Orleans’ Afro-Cuban roots (“La Malanga” stands out.) The album was penned mostly by bandleader/composer/bassist Ben Jaffe and their sax player Charlie Gabriel, who is 84 years old.

“Santiago” pulls you to your feet in order to celebrate with this historic band. If you feel like you’re joining a party or parade, you wouldn’t be wrong. Producer David Sitek (TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santigold) stumbled upon one of the city’s famed parades when he arrived to begin working on the album. He knew the vibe needed to transcend into the studio and onto the album. Sitek wanted So It Is to feel alive, and he certainly sicceeded.

—Brenda Hillegas

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