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Showing posts with label Ske-dat-de-dat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ske-dat-de-dat. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Last Music Company: Dr. John - Ske-Dat-De-Dat, The Spirit Of Satch - New on vinyl

The Last Music Company has released Dr. John's tribute to Louis Armstrong, Ske-Dat-De-Dat, on vinyl on June 5, 2020. I had the opportunity to review this newest release and it's a lot of fun. Opening with What A Wonderful World, Dr John joins up with Nicholas Payton on trumpet and the Blind Boys of Alabama for a Mac stylized version of this Armstrong classic. Payton floats on the melodic rhythm and Mac's vocals are tops. Bonnie Raitt joins on I've Got The World On A String and an easy swing. Both Mac and Raitt seem very comfortable with excellent lead vocals, bluesy guitar riffs, clarinet and full horn backing. Very nice. In traditional Mac/New Orleans Jazz style, Gut Bucket Blues is one of my favorite tracks on the release, again featuring Payton on trumpet and with strong horn backing and some really tasty drumming. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child features Anthony Hamilton on lead vocal with smooth soulful backing and solid horn work. The McCrary Sisters and Ledisi do a totally spiritual version of Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen with powerful rich vocals, organ and strong piano work from Dr. John. Excellent! Mac is back up front on piano and vocal on Wrap Your Trouble in Dreams, joined by The Blind Boys of Alabama and Terrance Blanchard. This is a particularly cool track with Mac's classic New Orleans blues styling, blended with the warm gospel backing of BBA and the cool jazz styling of Blanchard on trumpet. Very cool. More traditional New Orleans style blues on Dippermouth Blues is a great track with Mac on lead vocal and piano and a super new Orleans beat. James 12 Andrews (Trombone Shorty) hits the trumpet on this one and it's another of my favorites. Shemekia Copeland contributes her own lush vocals to Sweet Hunk of Trash, a funky New Orleans number. With cool trombone work and tight drumming, another strong track. Easy jazz ballad, Memories of You features mac on lead vocal and piano but it's the terrific trumpet soloing of Arturo Sandoval that really sails this one. Sandoval plants himself and just wails. Excellent! Wrapping the release is a totally Dirty Dozen-ized When You're Smiling with a great tuba bottom and with excellent, trumpet led, march style jazz. Snappy percussion and mac on piano works really nicely with Mac's lead vocals. It's nice that Last Music has captured this on vinyl. Very cool. 

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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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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dr John announces Louis Armstrong tribute album ft. Bonnie Raitt, Blind Boys of Alabama and more


New Orleans musical giant pays tribute to fellow Crescent City legend Louis Armstrong with star-studded, divinely-inspired new tribute disc

Proper Records / September 1st 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and six-time GRAMMY®-winner Dr. John is New Orleans' most prominent living musical icon. The embodiment of his hometown's freewheeling creative spirit and multiple musical traditions, he's built a visionary, idiosyncratic body of work that's deeply rooted in the Crescent City's myriad blues, R&B, jazz and rock 'n' roll traditions.

So it's fitting that Dr. John's new album on Proper Records, Ske-Dat-De-Dat...Spirit of Satch, pays heartfelt tribute to another larger-than-life New Orleans legend: the seminal trumpeter and vocalist Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, whose musical innovations created the template for 20th-century jazz, and whose playful attitude and life-embracing spirit made him a beloved figure whose worldwide appeal transcended music.

"He's the most famous guy that ever came out of my neighborhood," notes Dr. John. "He became a legend all over, for his trumpet playin' and everything else, and he was the United States' ambassador to the world."

Ske-Dat-De-Dat...Spirit of Satch honors Armstrong's musical genius as well as his effervescent personality with 13 classic numbers drawn from various phases of Armstrong's five-decade career, with Dr. John joined by a stellar supporting cast that manages to update the material while maintaining the music's timeless emotional appeal.

The subtitle Spirit of Satch is particularly appropriate given the album's birth cycle, which Dr. John says was set into motion when the late Armstrong—whom he'd only met once during his lifetime, in the office of their mutual manager Joe Glaser—came to him in a dream.

"Louis's spirit came to me and told me to do something, that's how this whole thing started," says Dr. John, who's previously released tribute albums to musical giants Duke Ellington and Johnny Mercer. "Louis told me, 'Take my music and do it your way.'  It was the most unexpected thing in the world to me, to have Louis' spirit show up like that, but he gave me a concept of where to roll with it that was spiritually correct. That made me feel very open to try some different things, because I felt that his spirit had ok'ed this record."

Prior to making the album, Dr. John honored Satchmo on stage, presenting rapturously received tribute concerts, dubbed "Props to Pops," at New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music in March 2012 and at the Hollywood Bowl in July 2013.

In addition to Dr. John's trademark vocals and piano, and backup from some of New Orleans' finest musicians, Ske-Dat-De-Dat...Spirit of Satch features a stellar assortment of guest singers and players. Bonnie Raitt shares the spotlight on a swinging reading of "I've Got the World On A String," Ledisi and the McCrary Sisters lend gospel authority to "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen," Anthony Hamilton is featured on a mournful "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child," Shemekia Copeland trades verses with Dr. John on a playful reworking on "Sweet Hunk O' Trash," and the Blind Boys of Alabama lend their powerful voices to "What A Wonderful World" and "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams."

Since Ske-Dat-De-Dat...Spirit of Satch is a tribute to the man who popularized the trumpet for a worldwide audience, it's fitting that the project should feature some of today's greatest trumpeters, namely Nicholas Payton (on "What A Wonderful World" and "Gut Bucket Blues"), Terence Blanchard ("Mack the Knife," "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams"), Arturo Sandoval ("Tight Like This," "Memories of You"), Wendell Brunious ("Thats My Home") and James Andrews ("Dippermouth Blues"), along with New Orleans' legendary horn ensemble the Dirty Dozen Brass Band ("When You're Smiling").

"The whole thing felt pretty special, and I definitely was in a different zone for this record," says Dr. John, who co-produced the album with his longtime trombonist Sarah Morrow, who also arranged ten of the album's 13 tracks. "I wanted to pull together some of his hits and some of songs he wasn't as well known for, and make them feel fresh and different. Sarah wrote some slammin' charts that kept everything spacious and hip. And everybody played and sang great, and gave it their own spirit."

Ske-Dat-De-Dat...Spirit of Satch is the latest achievement in a singular musical history that stretches back to the 1950s, when Dr. John—then still known by his given name, Mac Rebennack—emerged as an in-demand producer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter on New Orleans' studio scene, working for such local labels as Ace, Ron and Ric, collaborating with the likes of James Booker, Earl King, Professor Longhair, Art Neville and Frankie Ford, and scoring the regional solo hit "Storm Warning."

In the early '60s, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he played on countless sessions before debuting his flamboyant new musical persona, "Dr. John, The Night Tripper," with his first solo album, 1968's Gris-Gris, which introduced the world to his uniquely eclectic voodoo-funk. In the years since, he has remained a distinctly prolific and powerful force, releasing more than 30 albums of his own while collaborating with a broad array of acts including the Rolling Stones, Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin, Gregg Allman, Mike Bloomfield, Levon Helm, Ringo Starr, Rickie Lee Jones, B.B. King and Christina Aguilera. He also performed in such films as The Last Waltz and Blues Brothers 2000, and pursued a successful two-decade songwriting partnership with legendary tunesmith Doc Pomus.

Dr. John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, and won the most recent of his six GRAMMY® Awards when 2012's Locked Down was voted that year's Best Blues Album.