Various Artists

New Orleans Party Classics [Time Life]

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Time Life's 2005 compilation New Orleans Party Classics is a double-disc set that offers a sampler of some of the greatest New Orleans music from the '50s through the '90s. Not that it has all the classic New Orleans R&B singles from the '50s and '60s -- there are a fair number of Allen Toussaint and Dave Bartholomew compositions and productions that could have been here -- but what's here is very good. There might be a few too many brass bands for some tastes -- it's hard not to wish that Professor Longhair's original "Tipitina" was here instead of one by the ReBirth Brass Band -- but this is nevertheless a thoroughly entertaining and representative cross-section of great New Orleans music, highlighted by such timeless sides as Lee Dorsey's "Ride Your Pony" and "Ya Ya," Huey "Piano" Smith's "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" and "Don't You Just Know It," Chris Kenner's "I Like It Like That," Joe Jones' "You Talk Too Much" and Robert Parker's "Barefootin'," along with such lesser-known gems as Oliver Morgan's "Who Shot the LaLa."

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