35 Songs, 1 Hour 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Whether gearing up to get down for a Mardi Gras party or if you’re just in the mood for some old-school New Orleans jams, this 35-song-deep compilation of the late, great Professor Longhair’s jams is a perfect place to start. Although he was too weird to sell millions of records to the mainstream, the influence of Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd) paved the way for the commercial success of Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint and Huey Piano Smith. Sequenced non-chronologically, “Curly Haired Baby” opens with his trademark blend of Caribbean mambo, Cuban rhumba and Louisiana boogie as he pounds the piano over honking saxophone and jazz guitar while singing with fevered inflections. “Mardi Gras In New Orleans” was his first single cut in 1949 – the original version turns up here replete with the whistled intro, castanet clicks and an antiquated production. Besides spotlighting the Professor’s sense of humor, “Bald Head” is another great example of his knack for injecting danceable swing into the boogie-woogie. Also check the instrumental “Boyd’s Bounce” endearingly recorded on a dilapidated out-of-tune parlor piano.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Whether gearing up to get down for a Mardi Gras party or if you’re just in the mood for some old-school New Orleans jams, this 35-song-deep compilation of the late, great Professor Longhair’s jams is a perfect place to start. Although he was too weird to sell millions of records to the mainstream, the influence of Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd) paved the way for the commercial success of Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint and Huey Piano Smith. Sequenced non-chronologically, “Curly Haired Baby” opens with his trademark blend of Caribbean mambo, Cuban rhumba and Louisiana boogie as he pounds the piano over honking saxophone and jazz guitar while singing with fevered inflections. “Mardi Gras In New Orleans” was his first single cut in 1949 – the original version turns up here replete with the whistled intro, castanet clicks and an antiquated production. Besides spotlighting the Professor’s sense of humor, “Bald Head” is another great example of his knack for injecting danceable swing into the boogie-woogie. Also check the instrumental “Boyd’s Bounce” endearingly recorded on a dilapidated out-of-tune parlor piano.

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