Since their birth in 1977, the pioneering Dirty Dozen Brass Band has extended the New Orleans Second Line tradition into rock, R&B, funk, and hip-hop. Led by trumpeter-vocalist Gregory Davis, the nonet is joined by several cutting-edge guest artists. Dr. John
lends his Crescent City piano chords and deep-south vocals on "Everything I Do Gon' Be Funky" and the festive "Big Chief." The gravel-voiced John Bell, of Georgia-based jam band Widespread Panic
, chimes in on the hip-shaking "Walk on Gilded Splinters." Robert Randolph's ghostly steel pedal guitar casts its spell on Aaron Neville
's "Tell It Like It Is," and the young diva Norah Jones
's tender Texas twang graces the ballad "Ruler of My Heart." DJ Logic
's turntable scratches provide the gumbo on the autobiographical "We Got Robbed," and the Mississippi-born blues bard Olu Dara
adds his Delta-derived voice to "Junko Partner." Throughout the CD, the DDBB brings Big Easy grooves into the 21st century. --Eugene Holley Jr.