Soul Jazz Records’ latest excursion into the Crescent City vaults delves deep into the roots and history of the Voodoo world of New Orleans Funk.
Packed to the brim with serious break-heavy, heavyweight funk tunes from classic New Orleans artists including Eddie Bo, Betty Harris, Dave Bartholomew, Johnny Adams and Eldridge Holmes (with the ever-present Allen Toussaint and The Meters as always behind the scenes). There is also a host of rare cuts from a number of lesser-known second line New Orleans artists, whose fame rarely reached past the walls of the city, including Gus ‘The Groove’ Lewis, James K-Nine, Norma Jean, Bob French, Chuck Colbert, Zilla Mayes and Joe Haywood.
In the 1960s the syncopated beat of New Orleans Funk developed out of a gumbo mix of New Orleans local flavours – rhythm and blues, Mardi Gras Indians, the street percussion Second Line of the Jazz Funeral and Marching bands, Caribbean rhumba and mambo rhythms – all of which are in full effect. Even Zydeco, the rhythm and blues offspring of Louisiana Cajun music, had the funk as the King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, shows us here.
New Orleans music and Voodoo both have their roots in the African-American free black and slave gatherings held at Congo Square from the 18th century onwards. Here Voodoo king Doctor John (the original one!) and Voodoo queen Marie Levaux held court over their followers, and here also could be heard the first sounds of New Orleans jazz music. Soul Jazz Records’ latest album describes how these two cultural forms are inextricably inter-related.
Artist: Various Artists
Title: New Orleans Funk Vol. 4: Voodoo Fire In New Orleans 1951-1975
Label: Soul Jazz