"Nagin (Give Me My Projects Back)" - TBC Brass Band

“Nagin (Give Me My Projects Back)” (PDF) from the TBC Brass Band album, To Be Continued.
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January 18, 2013

I was in New Orleans on January 18, 2013, when the news broke: NAGIN INDICTED. The former New Orleans mayor was convicted a year later of political corruption for profiting from illegal bids from contractors in the wake of post-Katrina redevelopment and displacing local residents as a result of the political and economic land-grab.  In response, the TBC Brass Band expressed the dissatisfaction from the community, a vital role of brass band music according to musicologist Matt Sakakeeny's book, Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans.

The two trombone solos do not venture much outside of the Eb blues scale, other than the occasional dorian 6th and the 9th to mimic the tune’s melody.  The emphasis appears to be on lip flexibility “across the grain,” as well as for reaching the outer limits of the instrument’s range. The use of syncopated rhythms also aides the soloist in standing out against the rhythm section’s groove.

Here is a YouTube video of TBC Brass Band on the corner of Bourbon & Canal, before Mayor Landrieu's noise ordinances.

Recommended viewing: From The Mouthpiece On Back. Dir. Jason DaSilva and Colleen O'Halloran. Perf. To Be Continued Brass Band. Awl Films, 2008. DVD.

Alex Leong