Various Artists

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, 1976

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This wonderful set of live recordings may have a few flaws audio-wise here and there, but there's something in the excitement of the proceedings captured here that nullifies all of that. For sheer class, it's hard to beat Irma Thomas' or Allen Toussaint's turns with the crowd, just as it's impossible to ignore the loose and jagged performances of legends like Lightnin' Hopkins and Professor Longhair, perhaps the centerpieces of this unheralded work of genius. The real thing in front of the hometown crowd, this is one modern-day live album with some spirit to it.

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