New West Records just released Big Band of Brothers: A Jazz Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band. Released in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Allman Brothers Band’s debut album, the 10-song set of jazz interpretations of Allman Brothers Band favorites features Marc Broussard and Ruthie Foster on vocals on two songs each. Big Band of Brothers: A Jazz Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band also features Jack Pearson on guitar, who performed as a member of the Allman Brothers Band from 1997 to 1999. The celebrated trombonist Wycliffe Gordon of Jazz at Lincoln Center fame is featured as a soloist on “Don’t Want You No More,” and wrote the arrangement for “Statesboro Blues.” Gordon is consistently ranked among leading trombone players in the Downbeat critics poll and has topped the list at least five times. The 15-piece Big Band of Brothers was produced by Mark Lanter, Charles Driebe & John Harvey and was recorded & mixed by Eric Bates at Bates Brothers Recording in Hueytown, AL.
Today, PopMatters has premiered the album in its entirety. They state, "Big Band of Brothers is a truly remarkable and imaginative take on the music of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, rendered with affection and imagination, it asks us to appreciate the true genius of Macon, Georgia's finest” and "This recording is as entertaining and scintillating as Coltrane's Live at the Village Vanguard, the Brothers' own Eat A Peach or those legendary Fillmore East sets." When speaking to PopMatters, project creator and co-producer John Harvey said, “The original Allman Brothers Band undeniably ranks among the very best bands born in America, and their melding of blues, rock, gospel and jazz was unique. Their collective genius left behind a musical legacy as rich as any I can think of. It is my hope that our big band jazz re-imagining of their works reflects the reverence we hold for that genius.” Hear Big Band of Brothers: A Jazz Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band in its entirety HERE.
While jazz interpretations of Allman Brothers Band classics might come off as a surprise to some, the genre always held great inspiration for the band and its members. Gregg Allman, recalling the band’s early days, told the journalist Bob Beatty, “Jaimoe [Allman Brothers Band drummer Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson] turned all of us on to so much neat stuff. He gave us a proper education about jazz and got us into Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Kind of Blue was always on the turntable - Duane really got his head around that album - and he also seriously dug Coltrane’s My Favorite Things.” While speaking to Relix Magazine in 2013, longtime Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes offered this about founding member Duane Allman, “It’s interesting when you think about Duane’s roots in blues and R&B. As he was growing as a musician, jazz musicians were becoming more and more important to him. He talked a lot about how important Coltrane was in influencing him. It’s almost a cliche to say that you’ve been influenced by John Coltrane these days because it’s so obvious that he’s an icon. But for somebody in the early ‘70s to actually take that influence into a rock or pop sensibility was quite a stretch. Perhaps he helped to make Coltrane a universal influence in ways he didn’t even realize, the same way that people like Duane and Clapton contributed to the rediscovery of Robert Johnson.”
Big Band of Brothers A Jazz Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band will be available on compact disc, across digital retailers, and Peach Colored vinyl. Big Band of Brothers' A Jazz Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band is now available for pre-order via New West Records.
Big Band Of Brothers A Jazz Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band Track Listing:
1. Statesboro Blues featuring Marc Broussard
2. Don’t Want You No More featuring Wycliffe Gordon
3. It’s Not My Cross To Bear featuring Ruthie Foster
4. Hot ‘Lanta
5. Whipping Post featuring Marc Broussard
6. Stand Back featuring Jack Pearson
8. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed
9. Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’ featuring Ruthie Foster
10. Les Brers In A Minor