Recommended, unheard, without reservation…

New Orleans Funk: The Original Sound of Funk 1960-75
(Soul Jazz Records)

Tracklisting
1. The Meters – Handclapping Song
2. The Explosions – Hip Drop
3. LEE DORSEY – WHO’S GONNA HELP BROTHER GET FURTHER
4. GENTLEMEN JUNE GARDNER – IT’S GONNA RAIN
5. Eddie Bo – Check Your Bucket
6. Professor Longhair – Big Chief
7. Huey Piano Smith & His Clowns – Free, Single & Disengaged
8. Aaron Neville – Hercules
9. Chuck Carbo – Can I Be Your Squeeze
10. MARY JANE HOOPER – I’VE GOT REASONS
11. The Gaturs – Gator Bait
12. Allen Toussaint – Get Out Of My Life
13. CYRIL NEVILLE – TELL ME WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND
14. Bo Dillis & The Wild Magnolias – Handa Wanda
15. Lee Dorsey & Betty Harris – Love Lots Of Lovin
16. The Explosions – Garden Of Four Trees
17. Ernie And The Top Notes – Dap Walk
18. The Meters – Just Kissed My Baby
19. Marilyn Barbarin – Reborn
20. Dr John – Mama Roux
21. Danny White – Natural Soul Brother
22. Eddie Bo – Hook & Sling Pt2
23. Ernie K. Doe – Here Come The Girls
24. Robert Parker – Hip-huggin

“This is a definitive collection of New Orleans Funk featuring acknowledged masters of funk next to some of the earlier artists who shaped the meaning of funk. The album is also filled with many rare, sought after and undiscovered funk tracks. It covers the period from the emergence of New Orleans Funk in the early 1960’s through to the mid-seventies.

“The record is an essential part of anyone in any way interested in Funk’s record collection. It has some vital ingredients in it that you can’t find elsewhere. With the sound of the New Orleans Funeral March Bands, Mardi Gras Indian Tribes and Saturday Night Fish Fries all as inspiration New Orleans Funk developed into a unique sound.

“New Orleans is a port town. Originally owned by the French, this was where many slaves were brought from the West Indies. Many of these slaves came from Haiti and brought with them the religion of Voodoo and its drums and music. It became one of the first parts of America to develop a strong African-American culture leading to the invention of Jazz in the early 1900s. A main feature of Jazz in New Orleans were the Jazz Funeral Marching bands. Solemn Brass bands accompanying a coffin would, on burial, be joined by a second line of drummers and dancers which would turn the event into a celebration of the spirit cutting free from earth. This African tradition is strong in New Orleans and still goes on to this day. The backline drums play a syncopated style that is neither on the beat nor the off-beat. It is these rhythms that are the basis of New Orleans Funk. The album comes with a booklet presenting a historical explanation to how and why this music came about, and with lots of information about the people involved.”

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.

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