Eureka Brass Band - Dirges

Have you ever heard or seen a 1950's New Orleans Funeral march? Didn't think so. For that reason alone you should be intrigued, delighted, or maybe even disturbed by Mississippi Records latest offering Dirges by the Eureka Brass Band. What started in the early 20th century was a melding of traditions from both European origins as well as African cultural influences in Louisiana for funeral services. The colonial past of New Orleans brought it's marching band tradition to local services & combined with African spiritual practices the result is what onlookers would refer to as a “Jazz Funeral”. On the way to the burial the brass band plays somber dirges and hymns, and once the deceased is laid to rest, or once the family and friends “cut the body loose”, the parade takes on a new shape and tone, one of joyous celebration of their lost loved one. This LP presents a field recording of a funeral march on the way to the cemetery on a Sunday afternoon in 1951. And as its title implies, it’s 100% dirge. For the sake of posterity alone this album is instantly attractive as a document of American tradition in full form. For fans of world music, tribal music, or field recordings that uncover the historical ways in which people all over the world have processed love, pain, joy, ceremonies of life and death, this collection is just another glimpse into a moment in time. Musically it is strongly reminiscent of Swordfishtrombones era Tom Waits, but heavier (in every sense of the word) on the brass, the desolation, the dirge. (Adam)
Check out a track here.