By Andy DelGiudice
DC’s supergroup of brass, rhythm, and southern twang launch their self-titled debut album to a celebratory Rock & Roll Hotel crowd with the assistance of Balti Mare (hailing from, well, Baltimore) and Jonny Grave.
The backgrounds of the members that make up Black Masala is as diverse in make up and inspiration as their collective stage show. By effortlessly blending Eastern European brass with the frenetic drive of New Orleans street jazz, Black Masala endlessly challenges its live audience to keep up with its musical diversions and explorations.
I first heard Black Masala sometime last summer on H Street. My cohorts and I were on our way to some other pre-arranged engagement of what now seems like trivial importance when we heard Black Masala blaring out of the crowded confines of The Cusbah. Other plans were immediately cancelled and my new adage proved true: when you hear New Orleans funk, you go to it.
To follow Black Masala’s trajectory from a few working musicians collaborating on a fun side project to full time studio album has been both a nod to their collective drive and DC’s diverse and willing live music audience.