Royal St. EP
*** out of *****
The Brooklyn, New York based, eight-piece female brass band, the Brass Queens deliver the sounds of New Orleans, where the brass band tradition originated, to the Big Apple via their Royal St. EP. The six song instrumental EP floats by like a paddle wheel steamer on the mighty Mississippi.
The opening "Candy" eases in with tuba and percussion as the horns slowly build up to a cool groove as the full complement of Queens become involved. The bands cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" is relaxed, letting the get-down-groove roll out while their version of The Temptations "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" is looser and funky with slapping percussion and bright horns.
The group pays tribute to their Brooklyn contemporaries The Dap Kings with a fairly straight ahead version of "How Long Do I Have To Wait For You?" with stately trumpet, trombone and sax work but better situated is "Mad". The track is the most nuanced on the EP as it ebbs and flows from mellow to strutting, before soaring with blaring power; a well rounded offering that displays the groups talents excellently.
The brief Royal St. EP wraps up with the outfits take on the traditional "Lil Liza Jane" (titled "Liza" here) as the sunshine flows fourth, transporting the listen to the EP's title street in the French Quarter, marching and dancing behind the Brass Queens as they keep the second line tradition grooving.