Preservation Hall Jazz Band

At the Blue Note on Thursday, April 2.

For a few minutes, a specter hangs over the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The hall from which it hails was founded in the 1960s specifically to preserve the tradition of New Orleans jazz, hence the name, but now, with the memory of Hurricane Katrina still bitingly fresh, New Orleans itself seems vulnerable, its unique culture that much more so. When the musicians first start to play, you feel a tense sort of melancholy, like when you visit someone on the brink of death, but then the music is so spirited and vivacious, so animated, that the specter vanishes and you realize that, however dark times might have been, however dark they might still be, New Orleans jazz is simply too lively to ever keel over.