"This City won't wash away. This City won't ever drown". The words of outlaw poet Steve Earle echo through the Heavyweights Brass Band's newest release, This City.
In their highly anticipated third full-length album, The Heavyweights have taken a pilgrimage to the city that has inspired them since their inception. Recorded in New Orleans, the cradle of jazz ,with a second-line of special guests from groups such as Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Trumpet Mafia and many more, the Heavyweights bring a fresh, energetic take on a deeply grounded tradition.
Not forgetting their roots in Toronto, where they cut their teeth in the most diverse and multicultural music scene on the planet, the album also furthers their hometown collaborations with the 10-time Grammy contributor Kevin Breit on guitar and Canada's reigning queen of jazz, blues and gospel Jackie Richardson on vocals. This City paints a beautiful duality between two cities that have informed their music and is without a doubt the strongest release from Canada's reigning champions of feel-good horn music.
Whether receiving props from The Roots on Twitter, jamming with puppets on CBC Kids' Mamma Yamma, recording with the legendary Giovanni Hidalgo or being championed by influential DJ and tastemaker Gilles Peterson, The Heavyweights Brass Band pack a one-two punch of crossover appeal and respect from music's elite.
Inspired by the New Orleans brass band tradition, the Heavyweights' original stance keeps one foot firmly rooted in the rich legacy of jazz, while one foot steps forward into the future. Like the music's originators, the Heavyweights are unafraid to incorporate influences from disparate areas of the musical spectrum, from pop hits of the day to original compositions, from R&B and funk throwbacks to the infectious rhythms of Latin America, all woven together with the thread of adventuresome sophistication.
The uppercut ascent of the Heavyweights' arc has been the result of relentless dedication. Touring across Canada and sharing the stage with such influential groups as The Roots, Trombone Shorty, Galactic and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble has helped build the group a loyal following.
The Heavyweights Brass Band’s newest recording, This City, is a celebration of New Orleans horn styles of past, and present and brings the songs into tomorrow. With elements of gospel, traditional New Orleans jazz and brass lines recalling the Dirty Dozen(Roger Lewis guests,) and Rebirth; The HW.B.B. crafts tunes that resonate in your bones, booty and soul! Murf Reeves - WWOZ Radio
Marty's review: The Heavyweight Brass Band pay homage to New Orleans jazz with this release and they do it in style with panache. Sounding like more than the 5-piece outfit they are, with a few guest musicians lending a hand, the album combines traditional jazz with a contemporary style that is a joy to listen to without being extensive and overbearing. Each member contributes an equal share of their instrument throughout the album which emphasises the combined talents of the outfit.
official website: www.heavyweightsbrassband.com