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That's It!

4.5 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2013 album from the New Orleans Jazz legends, the first album of all original material in the band's 50 year history. Preservation Hall Jazz Band and its music continue to evolve as they embrace tradition and history while inspiring a new generation. Preservation Hall Jazz Band and My Morning Jacket first met a few years ago and also performed together on tour and in New Orleans. As their support for each other has grown, Jim James (My Morning Jacket) decided to take on the role as co-producer with Ben Jaffe on what is the first release of original music from Preservation Hall Jazz Band. With songs co-written with Dan Wilson, Chris Stapleton and the legendary Paul Williams, these new recordings have a fresh approach but still capture the classic feel of what has kept Preservation Hall Jazz Band relevant over the past 50 years.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 9, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: July 9, 2013
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 37 minutes
  • ASIN: B00CQ451QG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,924 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It may be strange to say a band is on the rise 50 years into their career, but in the case of Preservation Hall Jazz Band the evidence is undeniable. In the past year they've been venerated at major North American music festivals, collaborated with guest stars as wide ranging as The Del McCoury Band and Steve Earle, and now they release the first album of original material in the band's history, That's It!. Creative director David Jaffe says it's an effort by the band's current members to leave their mark on the modern musical landscape, as the great New Orleans jazz musicians of the past did in their day.

They have some well renowned friends to help them do it. This is not their first time working with Jim James of My Morning Jacket: they collaborated on "St. James Infirmary Part 1" on last year's St. Peter & 57th Street. This time he brings his expertise to the producer's booth, using his laser focused attention to detail to fine tune the band's sound. There are also a slew of well known songwriters at work on That's It! Most notable is Paul Williams, best known for a string of hits beginning in the 1970s and most recently involved with writing on singing on Daft Punk's Random Access Memories.

Many of the songs are pretty straightforward in terms of tone and theme, usually based upon some story of love or loss, or some facet of New Orleans. Yet it's the presentation of the message that determines the success or failure of a recording, and PHJB's composition most certainly has some meat on its bones."I Think I Love You" provides some great clarinet and offers a fantastic shuffling beat sure to get your hips twisting. Meanwhile, "Dear Lord (Give Me the Strength)" triumphantly fuses jazz and gospel to create a rapture inducing performance.

That's It!
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Format: Audio CD
Fifty years ago, when Alan and Sandra Jaffe created the legendary space in New Orleans French Quarter known as "Preservation Hall" to present nightly concerts by traditional NOLA jazz musicians (including Sweet Emma and George Lewis) they were preserving the older musicians playing traditional jazz. But through the years the band - crowned the Preservation Hall Jazz Band - inevitably lost its aging members (and the Allan Jaffe's passed on too). It took the next generation of the Jaffe family, multi-instrumentalist (but primarily tuba player) Ben Jaffe to move the band forward into the 21st century, while not forgetting the "heritage" from which the original band evolved. Now 41 years old, Jaffe first formed a record company to release the band's music, and later moved on to a deal with Sony's legacy label (which this newest release stems from). He replaced some of the members who left because of health with a younger generation who grew up in NOLA and the band members now range from their 30s to their 80s). Jaffe formed collaborations with other musicians such as Del McCoury, Trombone Shorty, and even Jim James of the band My Morning Jacket. The CD of their 50th Anniversary Concert at Carnegie Hall in January 2012 (which I was fortunate to attend) is out on CD and highly recommended.

But on to this CD - the first album by the PHJB - of NEW compositions. With one exception, the 11songs were either composed, or co-written, by Jaffe. There's a mix of instrumentals and songs with vocals. Most of the numbers are in NOLA jazz style but just updated.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I like this CD but it is a long way from my favorite. Just does not measure up to the other CD`s of PH Jazz Band that I have. Rattlin Bones is great and, for me, saves this CD. However, this rating of just average does not reflect on the PH Jazz Band, only on the selection of music by someone. As for the Band, they are simply wonderful and for that reason you need to own this CD if you love jazz.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A great album to add to my PHJB collection! The eleven all-original songs by Ben Jaffe and other PHJB members, and collaborators Chris Stapleton, Dan Wilson and Paul Williams, are a first for the band. The result is another fun-to-listen-to CD.
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Format: Audio CD
If you prefer instrumentals to vocals, give this one a miss. Lettuce and Trombone Shorty have accepted the method of alternating between the two genres from track to track (with slightly more instrumentals from Lettuce), and Rebirth and Dirty Dozen delight audiences with their instrumental-heavy tunes with very short vocal choruses, but Preservation has here presented essentially a collection of songs for solo voice, demoting the band to side workers.

My preference in the New Orleans idiom is for tunes where the voice plays a role similar to the other solo instruments - it should feature briefly in one of the solo sections, then go away. The emphasis should be on the ensemble presenting the background themes and head motive at the beginning and end, with solos from selected players (or maybe even singers once in a while) in between. The song is a versatile form, but Preservation has allowed popular opinion to misguide them into generating an album of barely-relieved-by-other-music songs, flogging the gasping genre that less sophisticated listeners seem to think is the be all and end all of music.

Having said that, the album as a whole is not too bad - it's just not my favorite kind of stuff.

Emmalena's Lullaby is more of a study in color and intonation effects than anything else. That's It! and Sugar Plum get down and dirty, sound fairly modern, and are probably the best representatives on the disc of New Orleans instrumental jazz.Yellow Moon is more mild and subtle but without narcotic effects. Dear Lord (Give Me The Strength) puts the listener directly in church.
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