Proper funky New Orleans R'n'B, dished up in a swampy setting that would make a zombie...
Chris Jones 2002-11-20
A new album by Mac Rebennack and what's he gonna do this time? After years of trying popular standards, tributes to Duke Ellington and even the Tom Jones-styled duets nightmare Anutha Zone (which featured a whole cast of youngsters not fit to share the same studio space), The Night Tripper has finally decided to give us a slice of what he was famous for in the first place! Proper funky New Orleans R'n'B, dished up in a swampy setting that would make a zombie dance. Mos' scocious it is too.
Backed by his band The Lower 9-11, this album finds Mac in fine voice, whether declaiming the blues on "Imitation Of Love" or serving up the spicy salsa of "Litenin'". The food analogies are apt in this case, with Mac, himself comparing the set to an "etoufée" - a dish which reflects the multi-cultural roots of his home town. God knows, Dr John has played with most of these styles over the years, from Jazz to Boogie, not to mention his guest appearances with luminaries such as Frank Zappa, Van Morrison and even Art Blakey.
Overall the feeling is most definitely funky, however. Solidly danceable rhythms pin down work-outs such as "You Swore" and "One 2am Too Many", while he still has time to deliver some of the old Ju ju on "Bruha Bembe". Just feel those hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention! This really is one to compare with his classics like Gris Gris and Desitively Bonaroo. Touring in the UK soon, you'd be crazy to miss the creole confection cooked up by one of the few authentic voices of the Deep South left in the business. It's just the good Doctor doing what he does best. As the man says: " There's only so many bumps on a log, so many grunts in a hog, so many croaks in a frog..." Food for thought, indeed.