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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Proper Records artist: Dr. John - Ske-Dat - De-Dat ... Spirit Of Satch - New Release review

I just received the newest release, Ske-Dat-De-Dat ... Spirit of Satch from Dr John and I quite like it. Oh yeah. With a tribute to an older statesman, there are some old time ballads but with a fresh look which is overall very interesting. On opener, What A Wonderful World, The Blind Boys Of Alabama add a different dimension to what is done sixties pop style with a twist of New Orleans. Terrence Blanchard a really nice melodic trumpet solo over what is otherwise a funky orchestral arrangement. Mack The Knife gets a total revamp with a solid New Orleans strut. With very little except lyrics to the original track, this is an ingenious mix with brilliant work from Blanchard. There is a rap break which I don't care for but overall the track is excellent. Tight Like That has a real Latin feel with vocals by Telmary and sweet Spanish guitar and really smart trumpet work by Arturo Sandoval. I've Got The World On A String stays with very traditional arrangement say, Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra but with a Dr John twist. The good Dr and Bonnie Raitt handle the vocal duet which is very solid. Stylized swing blues guitar work on the bridge is really nice. Gut Bucket Blues has a really cool bari sax bottom and full horn tribute. Dr Johns vocals are as good as any on the release with a gritty feel. Nicholas Payton takes the floor with trumpet on this track blowin some serious brass. On Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child, Anthony Hamilton takes the mic singing a counter melody to the all to familiar track adding mystery and interest. With a neo soul feel to the track, warm backing vocals and horns this track is as fresh as the first time I heard it. On That's My Home, Dr John takes a straight ahead swat and with his relaxed interpretive way weaves a smooth and comforting track with beautiful trumpet highlights from Wendell Brunious. On classic gospel track Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen, lead vocals are handled by Ledisi backed by the McCrary Sisters. It still maintains a a spiritual feel but with more of a modern take and less of a "pure spiritual" track as most of us (at least me) have heard. Nice job! Wrap Your Troubles In Your Dreams finds the good Dr back at the mic and also predominantly out front with the piano. The Blind Boys of Alabama are back with both solo and backing vocals and less tight but soulful trumpet work from Terence Blanchard adds a nice touch. Dippermouth Blues comes out with horns blaring and a cool New Orleans march rhythm. The Dr has the keys rolling and the saxs are honking. James Andrews steps up with some authentic feeling NO trumpet styling. This is a great party track and with warm organ work may be one of my favorite tracks on the release. Blues giant Shemekia Copeland joins the Dr on Sweet Hunk O'Trash and with a funky bottom gets you groovin fast. Hot funky instrumentals throughout this track make it another nice add. Memories Of You has Dr John in the lounge mode laid back with his piano with brilliant punctuation by Arturo Sandoval on trumpet. Hot sax work opens the last track on the release, When You're Smiling. With a definite Latin/Mardi Gras feel and the great Dirty Dozen Brass band, the party is leaving town. This is a fun release with some hot trumpet work.

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