(From the liner notes:)
There’s nothing like a good tagline.
If I need to explain the tone of this music to someone in a few words, I call it “New Orleans brass band-inspired.” Even though this music has been inspired by many different things, it’s a great tagline, because although people may not
know exactly what it means, they’ll immediately get a sense of what it feels like. Something engaging and celebratory,
soulful and full of life. And this alone is a testament to the legacy of New Orleans music, that the mere mention of it
will often make people smile.
Brass band music has a rich history in the Crescent city and their famed street performances have become part of the
city’s cultural fabric. Today, groups such as the Soul Rebels, the Youngblood brass band (from Oregon), the Stooges
brass band, and the Rebirth brass band all continue this tradition which combines Afro-Caribbean music, European
marches, and South American rhythms, with elements of R&B, funk, and hip hop to create something powerful and
all their own. The music I’ve written for The Hummingbird Brigade draws heavily on this exciting and driving rhythmic foundation and combines it with my own, more arranged style of composition. With so many great players in the band (11 to be exact) the clarinet is featured a little less in favour of showcasing different band members on each track. I go back
a long ways with most of the musicians on this recording (in some cases, all the way back to the beginning!) and I think
this sense of connection, and the joy from making music together really shines through on each track.
So please sit back and enjoy this album as brass band inspired music, as modern jazz music, as party music or even
“serious” music. Or never mind what it’s called and just enjoy.