Preservation Hall Jazz Band, “That’s It!” (CD review)

(recently published in Relix)

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band, “That’s It!” (Legacy)

In order to broaden their once-traditional New Orleans music reach, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band have recently collaborated with everyone from My Morning Jacket to Del McCoury. 

That’s It!, co-produced by band leader Ben Jaffe and MMJ singer Jim James, finds the band making their first album of all original compositions. It’s still retro from the get-go, starting with the tumbling toms, thundering tuba and jungle-movie brass of the title track and the gospel-informed swing of “Dear Lord (Give Me the Strength).”

“I Think I Love You” spotlights octogenarian reedsman Charlie Gabriel on lead vocals and James on backup with driving Caribbean rhythms, while the laidback “August Nights” is bolstered by steamy tenor and muted trumpet lines. That’s It! —that old feeling, once again.