Heavy Sugar - The Pure Essence Of New Orleans R&b - Various Artists
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The musical melting-pot which helped turn rhythm & blues into rock 'n' roll, was always at its most flavoursome in New Orleans. The beguiling big beat reached out to a global audience through such artists as Fats Domino, Little Richard, Huey Smith, Etta James, Frankie Ford, Art Neville, Bobby Charles, Allen Toussaint, Professor Longhair, Joe Turner, Sam Cooke and Lloyd Price. Many lesser-known but equally worthy individuals achieved the same level of sass, Alberta Hall, Ray Washington, Harry Lee, TV Slim to name but a few, although usually with just a couple of releases to show for their troubles. Features a very spicy & satisfying blend of familiar (Fats Domino, Huey "Piano" Smith, Little Richard, Etta James, Frankie Ford, Art Neville, Bobby Charles, Allen Toussaint, Professor Longhair, Joe Turner, Sam Cooke) and less familiar artists (Li'l Millet & His Creoles, Gene & Al's Spacemen, The Gondoliers, Alberta Hall and many more), many represented by collectable titles. The focal point of the operation centred around a remarkable house-band that assembled day-after-day at Cosimo Matassa's funky studio in the heart of the French Quarter. Date-wise the metronome began ticking towards the end of the '40s, which was when the hip crowd first latched on to rhythm & blues. Rather than being restricted to a minority audience, the music's freewheeling ambience ended up blowing off anyone and everyones' cobwebs. New Orleans came out on top, because its talented musicians were able to put onto record the good time feel that was heard in the clubs. In order to share the joy, Fantastic Voyage has trawled through the city's rich musical repertoire to arrive at 75 highly sought-after recordings. Compiled and annotated by record producer and music historian Stuart Colman, and with many titles on CD for the first time, Heavy Sugar: The Pure Essence of New Orleans R&B could easily end up being one of the releases of 2010.