Various New Orleans Funk

New Orleans produced some of the most important rhythmic music of the 20th century. From being the cradle of jazz to playing an important role in the development of rock'n'roll, its unique racial and ethnic interplay created syncopated sounds unlike anywhere else in America, but its downfall as a major regional music centre had already begun by 1960. Unlike Detroit and Philadelphia, New Orleans had no powerful home-grown labels and only one recording studio. As a consequence, aside from the Meters and Lee Dorsey, New Orleans never impacted the American musical scene as it should have, and its legacy is a huge amount of obscure singles. Soul Jazz Records takes up where Charly Records left off in the '80s - reissuing and contextualising 24 mostly fine tunes from the Crescent City. Much of this compilation is devoted to three players in the scene: Allen Toussaint, the Meters, and Eddie Bo. All three drew from the funky second line strut on New Orleans funeral parades to craft exquisite three-minute masterpieces. However, the track selection isn't as obscure as many of Soul Jazz's other collections, songs like Bo's "Check Your Bucket" and the Meters "Just Kissed My Baby" have been rare groove staples for years. New Orleans Funk packages the most important New Orleans tracks in one handsome compilation with good liner notes, and as a single item, it is well worth recommending. If you are intrigued by this collection, seek out the numerous collections on Charly for different tastes. (Soul Jazz)