Despite the waning attention it receives from most of the blogosphere, and contrary to popular belief, jazz is very much a living, vital genre whose artists naturally pay homage to it’s past and legendary artists while constantly looking forward. Now this is critical to remember because recently, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band celebrated the 50th anniversary and with that milestone it left creative director and arranger, Ben Jaffe (son of founding member Alan Jaffe), and the band with a deeply existential (and yet, important) question: How does an institution based on an early 20th century musical culture survive and prosper in the 21st century? And the answer was to look towards the future. With that in mind, the members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band decided to make the institution’s next 50 years about the future — by recording the band’s first album of original material in it’s history, That’s It!
Album title track, “That’s It!” is the latest single from their new album, and the single is a big, larger than life, swinging number with a comic sensibility — the track sounds as though it could have been part of the soundtrack of a cartoon or It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World-type comedy.
You can practically hear how liberated the band is as they’re playing — the horns sound as though they’re laughing with total joy, and it’s rather infectious. Plus, the tuba is really bringing some deep funk. The official video captures that sense of utterly vibrant joy as it showcases the talents of several super talented dancers. If the song and the video can’t bring a little bit of joy to your heart, then you must be a sad, sad soul.