Cover versions have always been the staple in Jazz. It’s always been a case of let’s take a song, and make it REALLY swing now. Ten piece stellar Jazz/Brass//Hip-Hop ensemble the Youngblood Brass Band are old hands at taking tunes, whether that be their own or someone else’s and making it really swing. For the past decade, they’ve been travelling through countries, continents even playing shows and festivals which showcase their ability to fuse the old New Orleans Brass Band tradition with hip-hop, more progressive jazz and elements of, well just about everything else, to make something which is raw, vibrant and, well, swinging.
With an album, Pax Volumi, due to drop on 9th September through Brighton label Tru Thoughts in the UK, the band have recently released 20 questions that showed that Youngblood had lost none of their upfront swinging, hip-hop enthused beats. Following on from that, out on August 12th comes Ain’t Nobody, out on both download and lovely 12” vinyl. It’s a reworking of the R’n’B classic originally a hit for Chaka Khan. In this instrumental version, it sizzles along, driven by Nat McIntosh sousaphone and some south American stylew percussion, the whole thing is a stabbed, staccato instrumental version of the tune, the different instruments trading on the melody.
Next on the release comes E La E, which although being another instrumental is this time an original, featuring some fearsomely funky drumming, and adds some electronic wizardry courtesy of founder member and lead vocalist David Henzie-Skogen on knob twiddling duties. The brass take the limelight again when they take on the melody, and it’s a full on
The Plank Will Nod and you will go comes next, and is immediately much rawer, ,much more aggressive, like a brass verion of a Linkin Park track in places, and heavy on the vocal talents of Henzie-Skogen. It bristles with attitude, musically really rocks and shows of the front man as very much a creative mc, no surprise leading this creative ensemble. It build and builds to a huge breathtaking conclusion. The release finishes with an instrumental version of the track.