Mahogany Brass Band
SONO 1044
New Orleans Street Parade Series
 
The Songs:
 
1. Medley for Thy Lord: Vocal-Gospel Dedicators; Piano-Al Bemiss
2. Baby Face
3. Blackbird Special
4. Amazing Grace
5. Bill Bailey
6. St. Louis Blues: Vocal-Robert Harris
7. I Scream, You Scream
8. St. James Infirmary: Vocal- Robert Harri
9. Night Train
10. Indians Jumping on Fire: Vocal-The Young Apache Mardi Gras Indians
11. One day in the Back of a Truck
12. St. Thomas: Vocal-Brice Miller
13. We Will Understand it Better: Vocal-Jackie Tolbert.
 
The Players:
 
Leader, Trumpet/Flugel horn: Brice Miller
Trumpets: Kevin Louis, Omari Thomas
Trombones: Stephen Walker, Winston Turner
Alto Sax: Chad Gales
Snare Drum/Toms: Ebria Keiffer, Co-Leader
Bass Drum: Damion Wheeler
Percussion: Gary McGee
Tuba: Jeffery Hills
 
 
The Mahogany Brass Band is the youngest New Orleans group playing Traditional Jazz in the swinging style of the old masters.  Many of the local brass band have followed the changing times and embraced the contemporary funk of the 90's. Though the Mahogany has no trouble getting down and dirty with the best of them, they have chosen to keep the music that made New Orleans the "Birthplace of Jazz" alive, Traditional Jazz!  Their six years together and their smooth, swinging style has earned them a reputable position on the local music scene.The undulation is further enhanced by the big band style of arrangements of Brice Miller.  Miller focuses on dynamics, counterpoint and the tension of dissonance being relieved by diatonic pleasure, something that is often ignored.  The Mahogany has worked diligently as a unit to get to this point, and now with more people being able to experience and appreciate them, only the future knows what is in store.
 
This recording represents the Mahogany's interpretation of New Orleans Jazz.  A mixture of old and new.  It is important that we keep this music alive, for it represents not only art, but a culture that is unique.  Nowhere else on Earth can this heavenly music be found in its natural context except New Orleans.  This recording is purely of the heart, from the dedication to the Lord, to the tribute to the Mardi Gras Indians.  This recording is an illumination of what was, for if you close your eyes and forget about the world around you, you will be surrounded by the serenity of yesteryear.  Upon opening your eyes and looking at the pictures of the musicians, you will be thankful for tomorrow.  God has blessed us with twelve notes, yet is it the love of the music that places them in the proper positions.
 
These musicians came together not by luck, but by faith.  Throughout the years of friendship and musicianship, a family has been established, the Mahogany family, the appreciation and wisdom of life with the respect and love of the African-American culture.  With the kinship of the dynamic perussionistic triplum of Ebria Kieffer, Damion Wheeler and Gary McGee, to Chad Gales' sweet tone of serenity, the "all for one" tonality of Stephen Walker and Winston Turner, joined by the "which way do I go" diversity of Jeffery Hills' tuba, to the rustic straight ahead traditionalistic Satchmonic vicissitude of Brice Miller, Kevin Louis and Omari Thomas, this band has developed a sound purely of themselves.  By adding other well seasoned musicians such as Dwight J. Miller Sr. on alto and baritone sax, Robert Harris on vocals and slide horn, Al Bemiss on piano, the Young Apaches, The Gospel Dedicators and Jackie Tolbert on vocals, this musical gumbo surpasses delicious and becomes "finger lickin' good!"
 
Painting by Peter Wood