"ABungo" - TBC Brass Band

“ABungo” (PDF) from the TBC Brass Band album, To Be Continued
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The origin of “ABungo” is unknown to me, however jazz archivist Jerry Brock’s article “Chula Bungo! The Seminoles in New Orleans” documents the influence of the tribe on Mardi Gras traditions.  The phrase “chula bungo” refers to a dance between two (or more) participants in battle, similarly to Capoeira of Portuguese origin.  Essentially, it is a war dance and I would assume that the “Bungo” was adapted to the parade culture of the Mardi Gras Indians.

Much like other parade tunes, “ABungo” is composed of horn riffs over a driving percussive rhythm.  The warlike cacophony is partly due to the flashiness of the bebop-inspired trumpet lines supported by the active rhythms in the trombones, yet the phrasing leaves plenty of room to be filled with improvisation.  On this recording, trombonists Edward “Juicy” Jackson III, Joseph Maize Jr., and Devin Vance provide an onslaught of low end without ever resorting to an every-man-for-himself battle for the spotlight.  Also note the use of the syncopated, sixteenth-eighth-sixteenth-note rhythm used throughout the solo.

Here is a YouTube video of TBC playing this tune on the corner of Bourbon St. & Canal St.

Recommended reading: The Jazz Archivist: A Newsletter of the William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive.  Tulane University.  Web.