The 50th Anniversary Collection
Founded in 1961 as a sort of loose institution where overlooked and often underappreciated New Orleans jazz musicians could gain wider exposure while simultaneously preserving the traditions of their unique music and culture, Preservation Hall has grown into an internationally celebrated establishment, with each generation of draftees playing in a constantly revolving in-house ensemble. Produced by Hall bassist Ben Jaffe (whose parents Allan and Sandra Jaffe helped co-found and manage the Hall) along with Michael Cuscuna, the Preservation Hall's 2012 four-disc anthology The 50th Anniversary Collection compiles tracks recorded by the Hall's inductees from the 1960s to the 2010s. Included are live and studio tracks from each of the Hall's various lineups, featuring such legendary artists as George Lewis, Billie and De De Pierce, Harold "Duke" Dejan, Percy and Willie Humphrey, Narvin Kimball, John and Wendell Brunious, and many others. Also featured are various recordings the more contemporary lineups made, featuring such guest artists as Tom Waits, Pete Seeger, the Del McCoury Band, and Richie Havens. There is also a 60-page booklet featuring photos and liner notes that, combined with the extensive and well-curated track selection, works to showcase not only how successful the Hall was at shining a light on authentic, rough, and honest New Orleans jazz, but also how, in more recent years, the group evolved into a creatively vital and stylistically nuanced ensemble, where musicians from all areas of post-jazz music, from bop to pop, bluegrass to blues, can find common ground in the fertile soil of the rhythms, melodies, and harmonies of New Orleans jazz. This is a loving, intimate, and joyful collection that details what makes the Preservation Hall Jazz Band such a valued and widely celebrated group both in New Orleans and on tour around the world.