Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Classic of the Week

"New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 1976" Various artists Rhino

April 29, 1993|RANDY LEWIS

With the 1993 Jazz & Heritage Festival currently under way, this collection provides a timely introduction for anyone who has never attended one of these bashes and gives fest regulars a chance to hark back to one especially memorable year.

The focus in '76 was on artists with ties to the Crescent City itself: pianist Professor Longhair, the godfather of New Orleans R&B; soul queen Irma Thomas, and songwriter-producer extraordinaire Allen Toussaint. You'll also find two or three songs each by proto-hitmakers Ernie K-Doe, Lee Dorsey, Robert Parker and Earl King, and by Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins, who spent a portion of his career recording for the Ace label, home to many important New Orleans musicians.

There are some priceless performances here, from Longhair's signature "Tipitina" and "Mardi Gras in New Orleans" to Thomas' destitute "Cry On" and Toussaint's elegant, horn-driven "Play Something Sweet." What you don't get is the dizzying scope of the modern-day fest--it would take a minimum 20-CD set to reflect the wealth of jazz, blues, Cajun, zydeco, rock, gospel, country, folk and international musicians who take part these days. It's no accident that New Orleans is the place that coined the phrase: "Let the good times roll."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|