Funk/R & B
The 1991 Sea-Saint Sessions Chris Barber and Eddie Bo The Last Music Company/Proper Blues, soul and funk pianist Eddie Bo was never a household name, despite working for more than 40 studios on an impressive string of singles that reportedly made him the most prolific New Orleans recording artist after Fats Domino. As a result, there’s a certain amount of karma in the fact this delightful refugee from the early 1990s has finally hit the musical shores. It was recorded over two days in 1991 at Marshall Sehorn and Allen Toussaint’s Sea-Saint studios and also featured British jazz legend Chris Barber on trombone. Barber helped Lonnie Donegan trigger the skiffle craze of the 50s and would inspire a generation of British blues musicians by arranging British tours by the likes of Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Muddy Waters. In 1991, he was in New Orleans playing with Dr John when somebody suggested a collaboration with Bo. Joining the team were guitar veteran Wayne Bennett, bassist Charles Moore, sax player Red Morgan, tuba player Walter Payton and a hot young drummer, Russell Batiste Jr. There were no rehearsals but anybody listening to the way these guys slip into the groove quickly realises that can be a good thing. The music flows effortlessly as the band kicks off with a funky edit of one of Bo’s hits, Wake Up, and works through several of his originals, diverting only for a hearty version of the Billy Preston-Bruce Fisher song You Are So Beautiful and blues standard Careless Love. Batiste’s tight drumming, Bennett’s guitar, the combination of Payton’s tuba with Barber’s trombone and some sizzling sax from Morgan provide the backdrop for Bo’s grizzled vocals in a session bursting with joie de vivre from another time.