Various Artists

Kings of New Orleans Rock N Roll

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The quality of the singles released on Jackson, Mississippi's Ace Records during the 1950s and early '60s was so consistently high that almost any compilation is a worthwhile addition to anyone's New Orleans collection. But this mid-priced volume has much to recommend it. With the exception of the inclusion of the seemingly obligatory "Sea Cruise" from Frankie Ford and "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" from Huey "Piano" Smith, the other 16 tracks gather up some of the more obscure but equally fine performances lurking around every corner of the label's discography. Noteworthy additions are Bobby Marchan's "Little Chickee Wah Wah" and "Rockin' Behind the Iron Curtain," Junior Gordon's ultra-funky "Blow Wind Blow," Al Collins' "I Got the Blues for You" (the blueprint for Little Richard's "Slippin' and Slidin'"), Mac "Dr. John" Rebennack's "Storm Warning," Roland Cook's "I've Got a Girl," and "Cut It Out" and "Charlie Brown Got Expelled," two of the best early Joe Tex tracks from his pre-soul days. As Ace compilations go, this is a very good one; the transfers are clean and the song selection is uniformly strong, if not a greatest-hits package.

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