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Preservation Hall Hot 4 by Duke Dejan

This set marks one of three recent releases by a new record label, based upon the famous New Orleans jazz spot. Highlighting the one-time "Olympia Brass Band" saxophonist/vocalist Duke Dejan, this recording sort of epitomizes the medium tempo Dixieland fare, known throughout the world. However, in the late ‘80s a stroke halted Mr. Dejan’s saxophone performances. Here, the artist sings along with trumpeter Wendell Brunious to round out the drummer-less quintet.

The musicians cover standards such as "Basin Street Blues," "Ain’t She Sweet," and eight other works, recorded at a New Orleans studio in 1996. Overall, Brunious surfaces as the strongest soloing voice, due to his lyrically charged lines, slurred accents and soaring choruses. Guitarist Don Vappie and bassist Benjamin Jaffe handle the rhythms via a regimented flow. Moreover, Vappie’s strumming replaces a drummer’s snare work, as he often rides on top of the beat. And Dejan sings with conviction - as though he’s reciting lyrics that parallel life’s experiences. Therefore, this outing while not spectacular in scope and execution conveys a rather good timey like aesthetic.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Duke Dejan
  • CD Title: Preservation Hall Hot 4
  • Genre: Traditional / New Orleans
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Preservation Hall Recordings
  • Musicians: Harold "Duke" Dejan (vocals), Wendell Brunious (trumpet), Don Vappie (guitar), Benjamin Jaffe (bass), Thaddeus Richard (piano)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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