12 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Louisiana flavor had always been part of Rebennack’s music, but his sojourn into the environment of late-‘60s L.A. pushed his songs into sprawling darkness. Dr. John’s Gumbo brought the music back to basics. Solid and sober, the performances here don’t waste any space. With a program of well-loved New Orleans R&B standards, the album performed two functions upon its release. For Rebennack’s audience, it was an introduction to a deeply rooted regional tradition that they might never have otherwise explored. For the Doctor himself, it was a process of self-renewal; he recharged his own music by returning to the fundamental influences of his life. These interpretations reflect his musical ingenuity as well as his love for his city. He is able to reinvent songs by Professor Longhair, Earl King and Huey Smith while simultaneously capturing their essence, a feat that speaks to Rebennack’s own musical ingenuity as well as the fluid nature of the New Orleans musical tradition. A fully articulated musical statement, there isn’t a dispensable track here.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Louisiana flavor had always been part of Rebennack’s music, but his sojourn into the environment of late-‘60s L.A. pushed his songs into sprawling darkness. Dr. John’s Gumbo brought the music back to basics. Solid and sober, the performances here don’t waste any space. With a program of well-loved New Orleans R&B standards, the album performed two functions upon its release. For Rebennack’s audience, it was an introduction to a deeply rooted regional tradition that they might never have otherwise explored. For the Doctor himself, it was a process of self-renewal; he recharged his own music by returning to the fundamental influences of his life. These interpretations reflect his musical ingenuity as well as his love for his city. He is able to reinvent songs by Professor Longhair, Earl King and Huey Smith while simultaneously capturing their essence, a feat that speaks to Rebennack’s own musical ingenuity as well as the fluid nature of the New Orleans musical tradition. A fully articulated musical statement, there isn’t a dispensable track here.

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