CD 3031-2 Music Mecca 1998, 18 tracks 72 minutes

What A Friend We Have In Jesus, The Old Rugged Cross, Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Abide With Me, He The Pearly Gates Will Open, Amazing Grace, Down By The Riverside, Nearer My God To Thee, Everyday With Jesus, Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen, Lead Me Saviour, The Shepherd's Song, Just A While To Stay Here, Oh Freedom, Softly & Tenderly, We Shall Not Be Moved, Cleanse Me, When The Saints Go Marching In

Formed in 1990 for the sole purpose of playing Christian music for the soul, The Spirit of New Orleans is a Danish band with a clarinet and trombone front line. The band play in a very relaxed traditional jazz format that makes the music acceptable to jazz lovers and the general public alike. The jazz origins are very apparent, but the playing is highly polished and lacks some of the rough edges we tend to associate with New Orleans music. NO, this is not jazz lift music for Christians! Presben Nissen on trombone and piano and Erik Bæk on clarinet are very competent players and can at times put a bit of an edge on the music when they feel it right.

Now, in view of my expressed opinions on the use of an electric guitar in a traditional jazz band, you may wonder how I got on with The Spirit of New Orleans: with no difficulty. Carsten Henningsen spends most of his time on banjo, but when he switches to guitar it fits in well, even on a solo break. The fretless electric bass played by Kim Holm Nielsen intrigued me as it is played as a double bass would be rather than in the style of a rock or R & B bass guitar. A bit more roundness in the depth of the sound and it would be almost indistinguishable from a double bass.

The music is a mix of standard jazz gospel numbers and old hymns. Whilst some of the material is very 18th C European, rest assured that the band's spirit is in New Orleans

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