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Perhaps you already know that the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, from New Orleans, uses instrumentation virtually identical to that of the swinging brass bands that have escorted funeral processions down the streets of that city since early in the century. America today sorely needs to be reminded that it possesses a parade march tradition that, like the samba parade music of Brazil, has nothing to do with war. But what’s even cooler about the Dirty Dozen is their penchant for incorporating more recent jazz and pop strains. Their hybrid is one of the most interesting and successful musical experiments being conducted these days–even if their stabs at bebop don’t always leave you bursting with new appreciation for the music, but rather gasping at the lung-busting technical difficulty of playing a fast-walking bass line on sousaphone (which helps illustrate why jazz bands switched to string bass in the first place). Occasional mixed results are certainly permissible in any experiment so audacious; no one can say these guys are afraid to take chances. Tonight and Saturday, FitzGerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn; 788-2118.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/David Katzenstein.