Monday, May 22, 2006

New Orleans on my mind

You'll forgive me if I can't get my mind out of New Orleans. Not only were the NOLA levies faulty before Katrina hit but we also found out today that the National Hurricane Center says that we're in for a bad and maybe worse storm season this year and that we'll be saddled with the same for the next ten years.

Maybe to remind me of the city at its best and one of the many reasons that it must survive, I come back to two great collections from the early 90's from the people at Soul Jazz Records, documenting some of the golden years of NOLA R&B, during the 60's and 70's (though truth be known, the 50's were the beginning of this revolution). New Orleans Funk has the Meters, Lee Dorsey, Professor Longhair, Huey 'Piano' Smith, Aaron Neville, Allen Toussaint, the Wild Magnolias, Dr. John, Ernie K. Doe among others. Probably because of licensing, they don't nail all the best-known/loved hits (i.e. "Mother-In-Law," "Right Place Wrong Time") but the line-up alone is a wonderfully delicious gumbo mix of the best artists from that time and place. Sadly out of print now, its follow-up volume Saturday Night Fish Fry (with its amazing cover of a smiling, gun-totting Dorsey) is a great companion, including hits like the Dixie Cups' timeless playground romp "Iko Iko" and Dorsey's ultimate brotherhood statement "Yes We Can Can."

Need something even more historic? Try French label Blues Collection's New Orleans Blues, which spans the 20's and 30's. Despite the title, the genre it salutes is jazz, featuring some of its first order of original pioneers- Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Sidney Bechet and a wonderful cameo from Satchmo ("I'm Not Rough," later covered by the J. Geils Band). Unfortunately, this one is also out of print at the moment so scour the used shops for it- it's worth it.

In the meantime, we better get ready to support our brothers and sisters down the Delta again this year because they're going to need it.


Blogger bulb said...

Gonna have to get that NOLA funk comp b4 the brain trust decides to delete it too! Those kind of idiotic decisions are almost enough to make me start a vinyl recovery mp3 blog. Almost, . . . but not quite.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NSU - 4efer, 5210 - rulez

12:10 AM  

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