That Crescent City sound
Reviewed June 2006
Right Place, Right Time: Live at Tipitina's Mardi Gras '89
By Dr. John
Hyena Records: 2006
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
The most visible example of the New Orleans pianist-singer since the 1980 passing of Professor Longhair, Dr. John's music is a piquant stew of all the influences that meet in the Crescent City. Blues, calypso, Cajun, country, jazz, gospel, Creole, R&B, reggae, classical it's all there in every song that Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) plays.
Nothing captures the full flavor of Dr. John like a live performance with a crowd to respond and prod him on. The second installment in "The Rebennack Chronicles" from Hyena Records finds the good doctor in a familiar haunt: the famed Tipitina's nightclub in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
While the first album in this series, 2003's "All By Hisself," featured Dr. John in a solo setting, on the new album he's performing with a six-piece band including horns.
The crowd is well-lubricated and receptive to the music's lilting rhythms, the band is tight, and the song list take in both the well-known ("Junco Partner," "Let the Good Times Roll") and more obscure tracks.
The recording quality is fairly clean, Dr. John's playing is inspired it's as good an example of the man's music as you'll find.
Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).