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Dylan Greene OF REEB. (Photo credit: Nicholas Grasso)

When REEB blows through eastern Long Island this year, they will be armed with new original material.

The nine-piece New Orleans-style jazz band — whose name stands for Real East End Brass and boasts seven music educators who live and teach throughout the East End — released their first album, “Music To Your Life,” on Mardi Gras, Feb. 12. 

The seven new tracks, three of which were previously released as singles, will help the group flesh out setlists across the island. Chris Mandato, the group’s trumpet player and one of the music teachers among its ranks, says the timing of the album’s release “worked out nicely” as they are playing both the Port Jeff Brewing Company’s Spring Music Fest-of-Ale on April 29 and Sag Harbor American Music Festival in September.

During these events, REEB plans to play more original tracks compared to summer performances at breweries and other lively East End hot spots, where covers are the focus. These summer party-vibe sets boast popular hits and jazz tunes that run the generational gamut from Van Morrison to Ed Sheeran, as well as classic 1960s era New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band tunes to Trombone Shorty, a 37-year-old contemporary New Orleans-based brass player and singer bringing the genre into the modern age.

Of course, even these summertime jams include at least a sprinkling of REEB’s originals, some of which audiences have come to recognize and expect.

“I think the most recognizable [original song] is ‘How It Started’ because that’s the one we’ve been playing the longest,” Mandato says. “I think the one people like moving to the most is either ‘What A Feeling’ or ‘How It Started.’ The most catchy one is probably ‘I Don’t Know.’ Even my three-year-old sings that … And people really like the instrumental ‘Gratitude.’”

REEB explores various genres and timbres throughout their album. Its opener, “I Don’t Know,” feels like a marching band bouncing through the French Quarter, while “Drinker’s Lullaby” quite literally lulls the listeners into a gentle wobble. Musically, “How It Started” romances the audience with its moderately fast tempo, syncopated guitar, enticing horns and light snare drum work. Lyrically, the track is more wholesome than sultry, offering a chance for the band to reflect on their formation and invite their fans along for the ride.

In addition to Mandato, the band is comprised of area music educators Tye Granger on tenor saxophone, drummer and violinist Troy Grindle, Meghan Kelly on baritone saxophone and clarinet, Jake Lorefice on bass and baritone saxophone, newest member Joe Randazzo on sousaphone and mellophone and Shawn Ward on sousaphone and trombone. Rounding out the group are Dylan Greene on lead vocals and auxiliary percussion and guitarist and alto saxophonist Nick Silipo.

While recording most of the album’s tracks, Mandato explained the rhythm section players recorded their tracks live in a room together, as did the horn players. Meanwhile, the entire nine-piece outfit recorded “Gratitude,” the album’s sole instrumental, live.

“That was wildly fun,” Mandato says. “We did that in three or four takes.”

Improvisation is critical in jazz, whether its performed live or in a studio. While they are on their own when they solo live, Mandato explains players could offer one another feedback as they tracked 10 to 20 takes of a particular solo.

“You’re improvising, but you have people in the studio giving you compositional pointers on the spot to help shape the solos so that they’re complete,” Mandato says. “I thought that was a unique back and forth we had this time around.”

The group continues to write new original material, and Mandato says REEB could drop a few new singles by this summer.  

“Recording is a way to literally record like what this band is: a group of people that is a family playing together,” Mandato says. “It’s a celebration of these people together and all the music we love to play and teach.”