Organist Art Neville formed a band in 1966 in New Orleans with his brothers Aaron and Charles on vocals, Leo Nocentelli on guitar, George Porter on bass, and Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste on drums. Billing themselves as Art Neville & the Sounds, they signed to Sansu Enterprises, a label founded by Marshall Sehorn and writer, producer, arranger, and recording artist Allen Toussaint, and minus the vocalists, and now called the Meters, they became the house band for the label, providing backing tracks for releases by Lee Dorsey, Earl King, Betty Harris, and many others, including many cuts by Toussaint himself. The Meters would also track instrumentals that were used as filler tracks on LP releases by Sansu artists, and in time, there were enough of these instrumentals to release an LP in 1969 called the Meters, which Sehorn shrewdly placed with Josie Records because of that label’s connection to its parent company, Cosnat Distributors, at that time the largest East Coast music distributor. The Meters were something special, and their swampy precision practically defined the meaning and template of funk. Two more LPs, Look-Ka Py Py and Struttin’, appeared a year later in 1970 on the Josie imprint. When Josie went bankrupt in 1971, the Meters moved on to sign with Reprise Records and continued to release thundering funk records through the decade before gradually morphing into the more vocal-oriented group the Neville Brothers. This two-disc set collects the Meters' entire Josie catalog, including all three LPs, the A- and B-sides of four singles, four tracks billed to Art Neville & the Meters, and two tracks attributed to Cyril Neville & the Meters. The end result is a joyous and impressively funky survey of this stellar and professional band’s earliest recordings.
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2
feat: Cyril Neville
feat: Cyril Neville