Saturday, February 13, 2010
Dr.JOHN - In The Right Place 1973
Dr.JOHN - In The Right Place 1973
Live Recording. SD 7018
Funk, in its purest form, is hard to come by these days. That's because we don't have the kind of wreckless visionaries that the 70s had, like Dr. John and George Clinton. These guys were so far gone into their music that they bordered on being parodies of themselves, and somehow that translated into the kind of raw and unprecedented energy that makes their music so saturated in what one would ideally define as 'funky'. Take Dr. John: the dude is basically the white George Clinton, with his crazy head dresses and honky tonk muppet voice. Put him in front of a piano, get the Meters to lay down the tightest funk grooves you've ever heard, and add producer Alain Toussaint's canjun roots and you've got an exceptionally enjoyable album in "In The Right Place". The music is uplifting and listenable; The Meters take the house down with some thick bass riffs, brilliantly arranged horns and tight-as-hell percussions. Dr. John wails like a drunken canjun cartoon character, which is such an endearing and appropriate compliment to this musical experience that you will not know how to listen to this kind of funk without a voice as original and funky as this.
While the entire album provides a consistent line-up of quality jams, the two stand-outs that have become two of Dr. John's greatest hits are "Right Place, Wrong Time" and "Such A Night". "Right Place, Wrong Time" would fill any dance floor with its danceability factor, while "Such A Night" is a kind of honky tonk interpretation of a faster-paced soul ballad, with great backing vocals and a nostalgic, Bugsy Malone-sounding keys section.
This album is a must-have for any self-respecting fan of the funk. Dr. John is a true pioneer in the genre and, while most of his work is worth owning, this is nonetheless one of his best albums to prove it.
Start with the Meters, whose hard funk is so efficient there's not a wasted note or out-of-sync beat. Add producer Allen Toussaint's wonderful vocal and horn arrangements. Top them off with seven Rebennack originals plus four well-chosen covers, and you have an album that seemed to arrive out of nowhere at the time of its original 1973 release. It still sounds garden-fresh today, not just the monster hits, "Right Place, Wrong Time" and "Such a Night," but also the chain-gang funk of "Same Old Same Old," the verbal insults of "Qualified," even the second-line soul of "Shoo Fly Marches On." The closest thing to a weak link is "Peace Brother Peace," in which Rebennack anoints himself the Dr. Feelgood of love and happiness. But the Meters sound as if they believe every word he's singing, so who are we to argue?
By Keith Moerer.
After GUMBO, his album of classic New Orleans covers, Dr. John released IN THE RIGHT PLACE, his finest set of original funk to date. Perhaps inspired by his exploration of some of New Orleans' finest writers and musicians on the prior release, these tunes bristle with sassy confidence and mysteriously hypnotic grooves. The good Doctor is backed throughout by the Crescent City's own preeminent funk quartet, The Meters.
Setting aside the more obscure exotica of his previous outings, these numbers are supple, subtle, and sturdy. They're also soulful (check out "Just The Same") and eminently rhythmic. The song by which many people know him best, the opening track "Right Place Wrong Time," yielded his biggest hit (#9 on the charts), followed by the much loved "Such A Night." IN THE RIGHT PLACE was produced by Allen Toussaint, whose own tune, "Life," is just one of the continuous string of highlights that comprise this timeless and essential album.
Dr.John- (Vocals,Keyboards,Piano,Percussion,Background Vocals);
Arthur "Red" Neville- (Organ);
George Porter- (Bass);
Joseph Modeliste, Ziggy Modeliste- (Drums);
David Spinozza (A1), Leo Nocentelli- (Guitar);
Allen Toussaint- (Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Piano,Keyboards,Congas,
Gary Brown- (Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Electric Saxophone,Horns);
Art Neville- (Organ,Keyboards);
Ralph MacDonald- (Percussion);
Robbie Montgomery, Jessie Smith- (Background Vocals).
A1. Right Place Wrong Time 2:50
A2. Same Old Same Old 2:39
A3. Just The Same 2:49
A4. Qualified 4:46
A5. Traveling Mood 3:03
A6. Peace Brother Peace 2:47
B1. Life 2:29
B2. Such A Night 2:55
B3. Shoo Fly Marches On 3:15
B4. I Been Hoodood 3:12
B5. Cold Cold Cold 2:37