Tribute To James Reese Europe's Harlem Hell Fighte

Album cover art for upc 021475012633
Label: CMR
Catalog: CD1263
Format: COMPACT DISC

Peters, Ken; Americus Brass Band, The; Mullen, Pat; Catlin, Tim; Wheeler, Jerry; Curtis, Kurt; DeBroit, Frank; Vargas, Will

Cambria Master Recordings is pleased to announce The Americus Brass Band pays Tribute to James Reese Europe's Harlem Hell Fighters' Band on the 100th Anniversary of the original 1919 Pathe Recordings. Under the direction of Richard Birkemeier, the Americus Brass Band offers authentic performances of Europe's original recordings including W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues" and "The Hesitating Blues" --- both arranged by William Grant Still; Handy's "The Memphis Blues"; Walter Donaldson's "How 'ya Gonna Keep'em Down on the Farm"; Europe's "On Patrol in No-Man's Land"; and seven additional hits from that era. The first two decades of the 20th century were a time of revolutionary change in American popular music. From the marches of John Philip Sousa, to the ragtime of Scott Joplin, the blues of W. C. Handy and the big band jazz of Duke Ellington, our music increasingly reflected the culture of African Americans. Introducing that culture to the European front during World War I and immediately afterward was none other than James Reese Europe and his Harlem Hell Fighters’ Band --- the WWI brass band that “filled all France with jazz.” Upon their triumphant return to America , exactly 100 years ago (May 1919), the group was joined by many of the most famous black musicians of the day including W. C. Handy, William Grant Still, Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle to record for Pathe Records in New York City a series of songs, marches, ragtime, blues and jazz that were “all the rage” at the time and helped set the stage for the forthcoming Jazz era during the1920s.

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