Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

If you know anything about Black music in America, then you’re already familiar with the traditions of the New Orleans Brass Bands. One of the family branches of jazz, brass bands are integral to the New Orleans experience. They’re present at celebrations and funerals, and one of America’s jazz greats grew up in its traditions: namely, trumpeter Louis Armstrong.

Brass bands not only play traditional dirges and upbeat Crescent City standards like “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In,” but they also enliven pop and soul standards, much like the marching bands of historically Black colleges in the south.

As a part of my blog, I’m going to start highlighting the best examples of my term “pure school.” Folks have been asking me to define it with examples, which is fine because it’s another term I don’t want taken out of context and misinterpreted.

The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a wonderful example of the presence of younger African Americans who are trying to keep our traditions alive, pure and unadulterated. Generations X and Y are always dismissed by Baby Boomers (at least in the African American community) as destroying the African American community’s traditions. Well, you can’t keep a tradition alive if your elders refuse to pass it on or you have to pry it out of their hands. The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a pleasant reminder of those who are gently keeping the traditions alive, while still understanding that time moves on –as will traditions.

Here’s a performance with Mos’ Def. Though we it’s hip-hop, you can still identify the pureness of the music, and of real-live musicians! Check it out…

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Baliky Bone on Chime.TV