Sounding tighter than ever, the two- or three-dozen member collective has miraculously managed to channel its raucous sweat, swing and swagger for home and headphone. Newbies can enjoy this party-ready record for its own sake instead of just as a pale souvenir of a full color concert.
The disk presents almost the full range of M4’s diverse sounds—Mexican brass band (“Contada Ridiculata”), odd-meter Balkan party gypsies (“Simplon Cocek”), throwback Latin big-band jazz (“Dynomite”), classic funk (“Freestyle for Miles,” which owes as much to James Brown as to its namesake), New Orleans second line (“Ninth Ward Calling”), gospel rave up (“Gospel”) and unclassifiable hybrids. If Herb Alpert were still running the Tijuana Brass, “Happiness” would be the perfect cover.
A portion of proceeds from this album will be donated to Sweet Home New Orleans, a non-profit whose mission is to support the individuals and organizations that will perpetuate the New Orleans' unique musical and cultural traditions. SHNO helps musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, and Social Aid & Pleasure club members get on their feet, earn money for their art, and pass on America's most unique cultural traditions.