City of Dreams: A Collection of New Orleans Music

Performers Various Artists

Rounder | October 30, 2007 | Compact Disc

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Rounder Records began recording New Orleans musicians in 1981 and over a quarter of a century later the label has built up an impressive catalog of Crescent City releases across a wide variety of styles, from rag tag second-line street bands, blues singers, and hard pounding piano soloists to sleek and funky pop, soul, and funk sides. Although this four-disc, 48-track box set is essentially a generous sampler of that extensive catalog, it also functions as a lively and vibrant survey of the pre-Katrina modern New Orleans music scene, a scene shattered and altered by the great storm and its unprecedented aftermath. New Orleans musicians were driven from their homes by the devastation and many of them have been emotionally and financially unable to return. The loss in cultural terms is immeasurable, to say nothing of the crushing personal losses many of these performers endured and continue to endure. So, while it is virtually impossible to listen to this set without falling under the shadow of Katrina, it is nonetheless a joyous, exuberant journey through a city whose music is like no other place on earth. The first disc centers on blues and R&B selections, the second on street and festival bands, the third features funk and soul sides, while the fourth offers up solo pianists demonstrating the various dimensions of the distinctive New Orleans piano style. What isn't here is much jazz, although it's safe to say that everything that is included is informed by it in one way or another. The recordings are well done, with bright sound and a delightful immediacy, and tracks like Eddie Bo's "Check Mr. Popeye," Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's horn-driven "Dollar Got the Blues," the vibrantly scuffling "It Ain't What You Think" by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Walter "Wolfman" Washington's "Funk Yard," Tuts Washington's solo piano version of the poignant (especially given recent events) "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans," and the hard charging blast of "Go to the Mardi Gras," complete with some pretty nifty whistling by the immortal Professor Longhair, are timeless gems by any standards. Upbeat, vibrant, elegant, and so full of life that one wonders how this music could ever possibly pass from this earth, City of Dreams reminds us not to take anything for granted, and certainly nothing as grand as the music of New Orleans. It isn't brick and mortar, steel beam or strung wire, but the music of Crescent City is more precious and lasting than any of those things. It'll take a lot more than Katrina to blow it away. On that you can hang your hat. ~ Steve Leggett

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: October 30, 2007

Genre: Piano

Style: Blues

Number of Discs: 4

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Originally Released: 2007

Label Name: Rounder

UPC: 011661219625

Found in: Piano

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– More About This Product –

City of Dreams: A Collection of New Orleans Music

Performers Various Artists
Guest Artist(s) Theryl DeClouet

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: October 30, 2007

Genre: Piano

Style: Blues

Number of Discs: 4

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Originally Released: 2007

Label Name: Rounder

UPC: 011661219625


Title Track Time
0.DISC 1: --
1.Carnival Time - Al Johnson --
2.Sing It - Marcia Ball/Irma Thomas --
3.Drawers Trouble - Chuck Carbo --
4.Just Because - Johnny Adams --
5.Don't Mess With My Man - Irma Thomas --
6.Check Mr. Popeye - Eddie Bo --
7.You Talk Too Much - Joe Jones --
8.Big Shot - Marcia Ball --
9.I Bowed On My Knees - Davell Crawford --
10.Drink Jax Beer - Charmaine Neville --
11.Go On Fool - Ruth Brown --
12.Dollar Got the Blues - Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown --
0.DISC 2: --
1.Feel Like Funkin' It Up - Rebirth Brass Band --
2.Sew, Sew, Sew - Monk Boudreaux & The Golden Eagles --
3.Cuttin' Out - Professor Longhair --
4.Shoo-Fly - Bo Dollis/Monk Boudreaux --
5.Royal Flush - New Orleans Nightcrawlers --
6.It Ain't What You Think - Dirty Dozen Brass Band --
7.T. Chapman - All That --
8.No It Ain't My Fault - Dejan's Olympia Brass Band --
9.Golden Crown - Bo Dollis & The Wild Magnolias --
10.St. Louis Blues - Chosen Few Brass Band --
11.If My Shoes Hold Out - Alvin "Red" Tyler --
12.Just A Little While To Stay Here - Alvin "Red" Tyler --
0.DISC 3: --
1.You Can Stay But The Noise Must Go - Walter "Wolfman" Washington --
2.Ain't No Yachts In The Ghetto - Theryl "Houseman" De'Clouet --
3.Rough Spots - George Porter, Jr. --
4.Flow On - All That --
5.Corn For Crip, A - Ed Frank Quintet --
6.Keeper Of The Crown - Willie Tee/Bo Dollis --
7.Body and Fender Man - Johnny Adams --
8.Gemini Rising - New Orleans Saxophone Ensemble --
9.Sweet Touch Of Love - Irma Thomas --
10.Here We Go Again - Solomon Burke --
11.Funk Yard - Walter "Wolfman" Washington --
12.House That Jack Built - Davell Crawford --
0.DISC 4: --
1.Hard Times - Eddie Bo --
2.Classified - James Booker --
3.Every Day, Every Night - Professor Longhair --
4.Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most - David Torkanowsky --
5.Tee Nah Nah - Tuts Washington --
6.On the Q-Tee - Willie Tee --
7.Gumbo Piano - Davell Crawford --
8.All By Myself - James Booker --
9.My Children - Art Neville --
10.I Don't Know - Champion Jack Dupree --
11.Go To The Mardi Gras - Professor Longhair --
12.Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans - Tuts Washington --

Editorial Notes

Rounder Records began recording New Orleans musicians in 1981 and over a quarter of a century later the label has built up an impressive catalog of Crescent City releases across a wide variety of styles, from rag tag second-line street bands, blues singers, and hard pounding piano soloists to sleek and funky pop, soul, and funk sides. Although this four-disc, 48-track box set is essentially a generous sampler of that extensive catalog, it also functions as a lively and vibrant survey of the pre-Katrina modern New Orleans music scene, a scene shattered and altered by the great storm and its unprecedented aftermath. New Orleans musicians were driven from their homes by the devastation and many of them have been emotionally and financially unable to return. The loss in cultural terms is immeasurable, to say nothing of the crushing personal losses many of these performers endured and continue to endure. So, while it is virtually impossible to listen to this set without falling under the shadow of Katrina, it is nonetheless a joyous, exuberant journey through a city whose music is like no other place on earth. The first disc centers on blues and R&B selections, the second on street and festival bands, the third features funk and soul sides, while the fourth offers up solo pianists demonstrating the various dimensions of the distinctive New Orleans piano style. What isn't here is much jazz, although it's safe to say that everything that is included is informed by it in one way or another. The recordings are well done, with bright sound and a delightful immediacy, and tracks like Eddie Bo's "Check Mr. Popeye," Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's horn-driven "Dollar Got the Blues," the vibrantly scuffling "It Ain't What You Think" by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Walter "Wolfman" Washington's "Funk Yard," Tuts Washington's solo piano version of the poignant (especially given recent events) "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans," and the hard charging blast of "Go to the Mardi Gras," complete with some pretty nifty whistling by the immortal Professor Longhair, are timeless gems by any standards. Upbeat, vibrant, elegant, and so full of life that one wonders how this music could ever possibly pass from this earth, City of Dreams reminds us not to take anything for granted, and certainly nothing as grand as the music of New Orleans. It isn't brick and mortar, steel beam or strung wire, but the music of Crescent City is more precious and lasting than any of those things. It'll take a lot more than Katrina to blow it away. On that you can hang your hat. ~ Steve Leggett
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