The Rhythm & Truth Brass Band

Fife 'n' Drum

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Fife 'n' Drum, a delightful album by the Rhythm and Truth Brass Band, combines the brassy and rhythmic tendencies of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the improvisational prowess and jazz machinations of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and the rock & roll application of Leon Russell. Producer Colin Linden has managed to make sense of the wayfaring brass section (comprised of trumpets, trombones, and saxophones) and the steady rhythm required of these Paul Neufeld compositions. While jazz is at the heart of this Canadian ensemble, R&B and funk are also common components, while reggae even rears its head on "Today I'm Satisfied" and gospel on "This Train." This is an interesting amalgamation of sounds derived from the South but realized in Toronto, which recalls how another Canadian outfit, the Band, did similar things decades earlier.