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Chess New Orleans
Various Artists
Chess New Orleans
Genres: Blues, World Music, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, R&B, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #2


      
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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Chess New Orleans
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mca
Release Date: 4/25/1995
Genres: Blues, World Music, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, R&B, Rock
Styles: Traditional Blues, Regional Blues, New Orleans Blues, Cajun & Zydeco, Jump Blues, By Decade, 1950s, 1960s, Funk, Soul
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 076732935521

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CD Reviews

Great Collection of Songs You Won't Get Elsewhere
Dennis G. Voss Jr. | Lexington, KY USA | 07/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Hurricanes aside, people rarely leave the New Orleans area voluntarily. That's true of the city's regular denizens but it's also been true, strangely enough, of their artists. Even the ones who rise to a national reputation generally keep their roots in the Crescent City, often to their commercial detriment. Think Irma Thomas or The Meters. The cost they paid in riches and fame, though, brought a corresponding benefit: It insulated them from the musical fads of their time, imprinting a regional sound on the music that set it apart, that keeps it fresh.

"Chess New Orleans" documents one such example of this New Orleans distinctiveness. The 44 songs on the collection were a small part of the huge boom in independent-label R&B recordings issued after World War II, but the artists recorded by Chess were not among the chart-topping stars who went national (such as Fats Domino on the early end to Little Richard at the tail). The musical approach in this collection is rooted in the Crescent City -- not the recordings of one band, but clearly the recordings of one musical community -- so it manages to avoid the piecemeal feeling of most compilations until you're well into CD#2. It's a rich testament to what happened when you applied the raw and rootsy Chess approach to recording Louisiana's regional artists.

Highlights include the original recordings of "See You Later Alligator" (popularized by Bill Haley) and "Jock-A-Mo/Iko Iko" (popularized by the Dixie Cups and a long-running feature of the Grateful Dead setlist), the still-popular "Mardi Gras Mambo" with Art Neville on vocals, and Clarence "Frogman" Henry's pop hits "Ain't Got No Home" (Corey Haim sings it in the bathtub in "The Lost Boys") and "(I Don't Know Why) But I Do." Personal favorites include "Down Boy" by Paul Gayten, "The Joke" by Reggie Hall, "Loud Mouth Annie" by Myles and Dupont, "Feeling My Way Around" by Earl King, and almost all the songs by the great Bobby Charles.

Final note: Remember that sound fidelity is going to be limited with independent recordings from this period. Otherwise, give this recording a try; I hope it gives you as much pleasure as it's given me."
THREE AND A HALF STARS
COMPUTERJAZZMAN | Cliffside Park, New Jersey United States | 01/04/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"THIS CD FEATURES MUSIC RECORDED ON THE CHICAGO BASED CHESS LABEL OF ARTISTS IN NEW ORLEANS IN THE EARLY 50'S. NOT A LOT OF WELL KNOWN STUFF HERE, I NEVER HEARD OF ANY OF THESE SONGS OUTSIDE OF CLARENCE FROGMAN HENRY'S "AIN'T GOT A HOME". MOSTLY UPBEAT R&B STUFF WITH A NEW ORLEANS FLAVOR, KIND OF LIKE EARLY FATS DOMINO AND OTHERS FROM THAT ERA. A LOT OF IT IS REALLY GOOD, BUT SOME OF THE SONGS ARE A BIT WEAK, SO I WILL GIVE THIS CD THREE AND A HALF STARS"