"War Time" - Hot 8 Brass Band

“War Time” (PDF) from the Hot 8 Brass Band album, The Life & Times Of…
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The parade music of New Orleans is rooted in the war chants of Native Americans, specifically the Mardi Gras Indians, combined with the Afro-Cuban rhythms of Congo Square, and presented in the form of European and American military bands.  Add to that the economic, political, and physical violence inflicted upon the city of New Orleans and its musicians, it is understandable why the music celebrates themes of life and death.  For all the turmoil that the Hot 8 Brass Band has endured throughout its career, the fact that its musicians continue to thrive creatively only proves that they are untouchable.  Don’t mess with the Hot 8.

It is unclear as to who is playing the trombone solo, either Gregory Veals or Corey Payton, but in keeping with the war chant idiom the melodic phrasing of the solo makes use of the call-and-response technique.  Over the minor i-iv chord progression (or a ii-V7 in the key of Bb), he uses four-bar phrases to introduce a statement in the first half and responds with syncopated rhythmic patterns to create tension for the arrival of the next phrase.  As the background horns enter, the trombonist gradually builds up to the high Eb and D and screams out a battle cry amongst the chaos.

Appropriately enough, here is a YouTube video of the Hot 8 Brass Band in the street as they are interrupted by the TBC Brass Band.  Look for my TBC transcriptions in 2018!

Recommended reading: Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans by Matt Sakakeeny.  Published by Duke University Press.