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Dr. John – Creole Moon

juni 1st, 2010 at 12:45

Chroniquer writes history.

Dr. John has never left New Orleans in the spirit. He bears witness to that with regular accompanists Herman Ernest III (drums), David Barard (bass) and new guitarist Renard Poché. In 14 songs, of which 4 were written with the late legend Doc Pomus, Dr. John once again explores the wayward but flowing rhythms of the town that shaped him.

Supported by different percussionists Ernest III, Barard and Poché roll out the cross-grained grooves tightly but interwoven, while the doctor plays the keys. Trombone player Fred Wesley’s horn section (ex-James Brown) plays fierce riffs on top of them and guests like David ‘Fathead’ Newman and Sonny Landreth take care of inspired solos.

Recorded in the studio where Anders Osborne laid down his Ash Wednesday Blues, Dr. John gnaws and growls the praise of more than 45 years of New Orleans in a personal interpretation. He sings about love’s pitfalls, the effect of gris-gris and the religiously inspired longing for a better world.

This omnivore mixes funk and jazz and, in doing so, pays great respect to them. Twice he makes an outing to rhythm & blues; in the 12 other songs Dr. John and his companions swing complexely but effortlessly in what he calls dance music, in which drummer Ernest III’s glorious role catches the ear.

That way they exceed regular predecessor Anutha Zone, which as such was no chance hit: this master of swing proves to have found back his source.

*****

Published in Heaven no. 16, January-February 2002/no. 1

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