Categories :



R&B - Released August 4, 1998 | Parlophone UK

Dr. John has spent so much time turning out perfectly enjoyable but interchangeable records that it may be easy to forget the spooky voodoo vibes of his earliest, arguably best, records. He may have forgotten it himself, too, but there was a whole generation of British musicians, from Modfather Paul Weller to Spaceman Jason Pierce to the teenaged punks in Supergrass, who remembered the haunted vibe lurking in Gumbo and Gris-Gris. Citing his name in interviews, covering his songs, and enlisting him as a session musician (Mr. Rebennack played on Spiritualized's acclaimed 1997 album, Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space), they created a buzz around Dr. John and were more than willing to play on Anutha Zone, hopefully generating some sales for him in return. As should be expected from any project that is a marketer's dream, the collaborations occasionally seem awkward, but what is surprising is how often it works. Pierce helps Rebennack conjure the psychedelic R&B of his earlier albums, while Weller and Supergrass help keep things cooking; furthermore, members of Primal Scream and Portishead help make "Sweet Home New Orleans" a titanic workout. The Brits aren't as funky as the classic New Orleans musicians, but they are willing to push Dr. John into his best work in years. Anutha Zone isn't a perfect album by any means, but it's Rebennack's most ambitious and rewarding album in many a year. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

R&B - Released February 28, 2003 | Parlophone UK

Between his various standards albums of the '90s and the heavily collaborational Anutha Zone from 1998, by the end of the millennium it'd been nearly a decade since Dr. John's last record of straight-ahead New Orleans R&B. Creole Moon rectifies that situation nicely -- it's "a personal interpretation of New Orleans" (as he says in the liner notes), and these 14 vignettes of New Orleans life are soaked in Crescent City soul. Creole Moon is also a return to the sound of his classic mid-'70s records (Dr. John's Gumbo, In the Right Place), right from the spidery electric piano and testifying back-up vocals on the opener "You Swore." Most of his band, the Lower 9-11 Musician Vocaleers, have been playing with him for close to 20 years, and provide solid accompaniment. Dr. John also invites some friends along, including David "Fathead" Newman, slide guitarist Sonny Landreth, fiddler Michael Doucet, and a tight horn section led by Fred Wesley. And there's few better than Wesley to knock out a tough James Brown groove, as he and the band do on "Food for Thot" while Dr. John vamps over the top. Most of the other songs are little more than those loose grooves, and the booklet's constant references to African-derived rhythms (or an included Creole dictionary, aka "Gumbo-izms") may be too much for most listeners, but Creole Moon shows Dr. John doing what he's done best for nearly 30 years. © John Bush /TiVo

R&B - Released January 19, 2000 | Parlophone UK

Duke Elegant certainly wasn't the only tribute to Duke Ellington put out in honor of the 100th anniversary of the legendary bandleader, nor was it even the first time Dr. John had tackled his material. But it would be hard to find a better homage than this one. Dr. John proves a surprisingly good match for Ellington's material, placing a tremendously funky foundation under the composer's tunes. The sound is dominated by the good doctor's incomparable New Orleans piano and organ, naturally, and the best tracks are those whose melodies are carried solely by his keyboard work, such as instrumentals "Caravan" and "Things Ain't What They Used to Be." The vocal cuts are fine -- his takes on the Ellington ballad "Solitude" and especially the dreamy, elegant "Mood Indigo" show off Dr. John's uniquely expressive voice as well as any of his early-era recordings -- though he occasionally tends to approach self-caricature, as on "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)." Any weakness, however, is more than made up for by the closing rearrangement of "Flaming Sword," one of three Ellington rarities here. Dr. John transforms the instrumental into a luminous, gorgeously melodic display of Professor Longhair-style piano over an astonishingly sexy New Orleans funk rhythm. Ultimately, Duke Elegant holds up both as an innovative twist on the Ellington songbook and as a solid Dr. John album in its own right. © Kenneth Bays /TiVo

R&B - Released September 30, 1991 | Parlophone UK


R&B - Released March 16, 1988 | Parlophone UK

A "live" 2-fer of her hits from the '60s to present. © Bil Carpenter /TiVo

R&B - Released January 10, 1986 | Parlophone UK

Because it contains its share of memorable and inspired material -- and even a few gems -- it seems inappropriate to call Tina Turner's Break Every Rule a disappointment. But because Private Dancer was so incredible a comeback, one greeted this anxiously awaited follow-up with such high expectations that anything less than outstanding would have been disappointing. And the album isn't outstanding -- it's generally quite enjoyable and far from weak -- but not outstanding. Be that as it may, there's a lot to savor here. "Two People" is forgettable, but Turner definitely has some gems in the power ballad "I'll Be Thunder," the driving rocker "Back Where You Started" and the haunting David Bowie piece "Girls." While Private Dancer would be a much better introduction to Turner's work as a solo artist, this has more pluses than minuses. © Alex Henderson /TiVo