The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
This New Orleans crew has been keepers of local jazz tradition for more than 50 years, but it has never recorded an LP of original material until now. With help from songwriters like Paul "Rainbow Connection" Williams and My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James contributing the reverently hands-off production, the band manages a set that subtly plays with history. "August Nights," a bulletin from "the sorry side of the street," has post-Katrina resonance, and the groove of "I Think I Love You" connects Basin Street and Brazil. The rockingest thing here is the title track, a tuba-charged, elephantine rumbler that could've crushed it at the Cotton Club.