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New Orleans Party Asylum gives Santa Claus a 'Yuletide Aphrodisiac' of Dixieland jazz
(Published: December 14, 2010)

(Toledo, OH) - Written by Robert Sutton. Santa Claus usually punishes the naughty; however, in the case of the New Orleans Party Asylum, he just might grab a cold one and join them. On their new album Yuletide Aphrodisiac, the New Orleans Party Asylum presents themselves as the kind of band that would spike the elves' eggnog and have Rudolph carry beads during Mardi Gras. NOPA, as they like to be called, is a boisterous bunch, intoxicated by their lifelong affection for Dixieland jazz.

Featuring Dave Kosmyna (piano, cornet, vocals), Ray Heitger (clarinet, soprano saxophone, vocals), Tad Dickerson (drums), and Riley Kloos (bass), the New Orleans Party Asylum formed in 2009 although its members have been together for 15 years in various incarnations. According to Kosmyna, the intent of the band was to cover popular songs - everything from Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria" to Green Day's "Basket Case" - and reinvent them as classic New Orleans jazz. "Everything is up for grabs as long as it swings and is compatible with the blues," Kosmyna explained.

NOPA's adoration for the exhilaratingly upbeat jazz sounds of the early 20th century gives the cobweb-strewn Christmas songs on Yuletide Aphrodisiac
eye-opening new life. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" becomes a pub anthem with thumping piano, soaring horns, and bluesy vocals. "Silent Night" finally jettisons its overly serious air, replacing its Gospel flavor with a drunken crawl and soulful singing. Marching drums give "Maryland, My Maryland" a bruising kick, and "Auld Lang Syne" indeed sounds like New Year's Eve but that of 1910 and not 2010.

The authenticity in which NOPA has recorded these tunes is striking. Yuletide Aphrodisiac is no fake swing record, and the group should not be mistaken for the zoot suit revivalists of the late ‘90s. "We want people to experience the robust joys of life by listening and moving to NOPA," Kosmyna said. "Life may not be perfect, but it is good." With Yuletide Aphrodisiac, that love for life is warm enough to melt the iciest of Christmas days.

More Information: http://partyasylum.com

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