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Young Tuxedo Brass Band

Last updated on June 16, 2024

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From Wikipedia:

The Young Tuxedo Brass Band is a brass band from New Orleans that was active after World War II.

The Young Tuxedo Brass Band was founded in 1938 by John Casimir. Its name is a nod to the Tuxedo Brass Band of Papa Celestin, an ensemble in New Orleans in the 1910s and 1920s. The ensemble generally held between nine and eleven players, with two trumpets, two trombones, two reeds, a sousaphone or tuba, a snare drum, and a bass drum. Their first record was issued in 1958 on Atlantic Records, and featured Paul Barbarin on drums; other personnel included Andy Anderson and John Brunious on trumpet, Clement Tervalon, Eddie Pierson, and Jim Robinson on trombone, reedists Herman Sherman and Andrew Morgan, Wilbert “Bird” Tillman, sousaphone, and drummer Emile Knox.

In 1963 Wilbert Tilman, the group’s founding sousaphonist and Casimir’s cousin, took control of the group, but retired later that year due to poor health; Andrew Morgan took over until his death in 1972. Following this Herman Sherman became the group’s leader until his death in 1984. During Sherman’s tenure, they appeared at the 1976 Smithsonian Folklife Festival to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States in Washington, D.C., and again in 1985 when the Festival featured a program on Louisiana. They appeared at the White House on Father’s Day, 1978 for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Newport Jazz Festival.

The band recorded with former Beatle Paul McCartney in New Orleans in 1975. In 1983, they recorded Jazz Continues on 504 Records of England which was a sequel to the Atlantic recording Jazz Begins. This featured Herman Sherman, alto sax, Joseph Torregano, tenor sax, Michael White, clarinet, John Simmons ,trumpet, Joshua “Jack” Willis, cornet and mellophone; Gregory Stafford, cornet, Lawrence Trotter, snare drum, Charles Barbarin (nephew of the great Paul Barbarin) bass drum; Walter Payton, sousaphone, Lester Caliste and Clement Tervalon, trombones. Herman Sherman and Clement Tervalon were both on the original 1958 recording.

The band has been under the leadership of Gregg Stafford since Sherman’s death in 1984 and is one of the last traditional New Orleans Brass Band playing the hymns, dirges, and songs of the brass repertoire. […]

Paul McCartney recorded a cover of “Baby Face” as a solo piano and vocal performance during the filming of the 1974 documentary “One Hand Clapping.” In February 1975, while Wings was in New Orleans to record their new album, “Venus And Mars,” Paul came up with the idea of recording a backing track for “Baby Face” using a local brass band named the Young Tuxedo Jazz Band.

We did this crazy thing with the Tuxedo Jazz Band in New Orleans. It’s a backing track of me playing ‘Baby Face’ on the piano, for a TV video tape. It should be ready in a couple of months. But when we were in New Orleans I took the track and asked these fellows to overdub, and like these guys don’t know what earphones are, they’re a trad band right? A genuine, New Orleans brass band.

They couldn’t get the tempo for a while, but then they started to get it. It’s a terrible sound if you’re looking at it critically, but it’s got a lovely, joyousness about it. It’s great (Paul broke into a fair imitation of a tailgate trombone), it’s like they’re revving up all the time.

They’re brilliant. The drummer plays bass drum with his… melon…and he has a coat hanger in his left hand, and the bottom half of a hi-hat, which he hits with his coat hanger. So it’s boom, chick-a-boom, and his mate’s got the snare drum. They have this ethnic talent-it’s like a Morris dancing act. I’m not really a jazzer you know, I like it, but I’ve never been into it.

Paul McCartney – Interview with Melody Maker, May 31, 1975

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