Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Icon Fess: Professor Longhair 100

Let's slide on into this commemoration of one of the father figures of the music of our epoch, who'd have been a centenarian today.
He was born, lived and died in the American capital city of the groove, New Orleans.
The first evidence of him came in 1949, and through the 1950s he had hit after it in the early, pre-Rock-and-Roll style of R&B.
After a stroke debilitated him in 1957, he fell out of music and of favor for almost 15 years, until a major revival of N'awlins R&B happened in the early 1970s.
He passed away way back in 1980, but he has dozens of tunes that are now considered American standards.
His song Tipitina is from where the legendary New Orleans joint takes its name.
And he was born in 1918, making him exactly 100 years old today.
Let's not hesitate to commemorate the occasion, courtesy of a powerful and well-captured pair of sets from where else but Tipitina's back on New Year's Eve, 1978/79.
These sound fantastic and after a few slight repairs by me, they are indistinguishable from an official live release.
Professor Longhair & The Blues Scholars
Tipitina's Uptown
New Orleans, Louisiana 

Set 1:
01 Doing It
02 Mess Around
03 Big Chief
04 She Ain't Got No Hair
05 Everyday I Have The Blues
06 Go to the Mardi Gras
07 I'm Movin' On #2
08 Got My Mojo Workin'
09 Hey, Little Girl
10 Her Mind Is Gone
11 Stagger Lee
12 Cry to Me
13 Auld Lang Syne

Set 2:
01 Doing It
02 How Long Has This Train Been Gone?
03 Rockin' Pneumonia
04 Bright Lights, Big City
05 Rum and Coca-Cola
06 Tipitina
07 Jambalaya
08 She Walks Right In
09 Hey Now Baby
10 band introductions
11 Big Chief

Total time: 1:48:26

Professor Longhair - piano & vocals 
Dave Watson - bass
Alfred Roberts - congas & percussion
Earl Gordon - drums
Ronald Johnson - guitar
Stanley John - steel drums 
Tony Dagradi - tenor saxophone 
Andy Kaslow - tenor saxophone

DAT of what spectral analysis shows to be an FM master reel
Like I said I made a few adjustments, detailed in the accompanying text file, to make this one play as smooth as the silk in your best shirt.
I'll be back in a few days with more tekka for your wrecka, but let's make sure you don't forget someone like Fess here, without whose birth a century ago a great deal of the music we all revere wouldn't in fact even exist.--J.
12.19.1918 - 1.30.1980