Funk/R & B

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Steve Creedy

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.

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