Milton Batiste, who passed away in 2001, was one of the most popular musicians in the city of New Orleans. His sunny personality shone through no matter what type of music he was playing, from traditional jazz to gospel, Mardi Gras Indian music to the blues. He was a master of the trumpet, and he used his horn to play the memorable tunes for which his city is famous, and to pay a last tribute to fallen friends at jazz funerals. As a band leader and MC, he was in his element. Such is the case here on this CD release, produced by his own company, Dubat Productions. In complete artistic control, Batiste swings on trumpet, flügelhorn, tambourine, as well as vocals. He is backed up by la Vida Jazz Ensemble. The young group of musicians are from across the sea in the Netherlands. But the feel is strictly New Orleans, as the ensemble goes deep into the street brass band tradition. With Batiste, they perform popular favorites such as "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" and "When the Saints Go Marchin' In," proving once again that music is indeed the universal language.
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