Rebirth Brass Band - "Feel Like Funkin It Up" - Rounder Records - 1989
Seven years after Phillip and Keith Frazier enlisted some bandmates at Joseph S. Clark High in the Treme to form what was to become one of the city’s most recognizable bands, the band that made Tuesday nights at the Maple Leaf Bar an institution, Rebirth struck gold with this record, their second. This album was recorded long before some band members became movie stars, and the band took their sound and traveled the world. The album conjures up nights at the Glass House when the modern brass band movement took off in New Orleans, pays homage to old masters and has a bold, lively feel that you find only at second lines.
Thud—thud—thud, Phil Frazier’s tuba is the backbone of the band’s sound. Surrounded by a brassy phalanx of sharp, bright horns that wash over you and topped with the gravely, inimitable voice of Kermit Ruffins, the album serves up two classics, “Do Watcha Wanna (Part 2)” and “Feel Like Funkin’ It Up” – two of the band’s biggest hits, one that has become an anthem of the city – along with unique covers of Fats Domino and Professor Longhair and even Michael Jackson material.
Recreating the sounds and the flavor that makes you want to dance in the street is no easy feat; it is next to impossible. But rather than a flat record that studios can create – this one recorded in a studio a 1000 miles away from the Treme in Metairie - oozes an organic feel from a young and powerful band, with a funky, sweaty, big sound you expect to hear second lining down Dumaine Street, or maybe out in front of Joe’s Cozy Corner.
This album has the sound people search out when they come here, a sound that makes people take pilgrimages to New Orleans, a sound that makes some never want to leave.
- Michael Luke
Video: Rebirth Brass Band '09 second line with Dumaine Street Gang