Various Artists

Putumayo Presents: New Orleans

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Putumayo provides a nice introduction to Nawlins jazz here, with a pretty good mix of the classic and the contemporary. The music remains, despite its era or performer, fully of the New Orleans style. The patron saint of the city, as well as the genre, Louis Armstrong, is presented with one of his later recordings with an all-star band in 1966 (it's somewhat disappointing not to hear the Hot Fives or Sevens, but this one still ain't bad). Other mainstays of the city are here as well, with Dr. John playing "Basin Street Blues" as only he could, following a rendition of the same song by Louis Prima. Doc Cheatham's here with some classic vocals as well. Beyond the well-known, though, there are some members of the newer groups of influence here. Kermit Ruffins has become a contemporary revivalist of the old sound and starts off the album as such. Kevin Clark and Michael White provide contemporary versions of the classic style as well. Through and through, it's a fine introduction to a given genre. It's surprising not to hear anything from the Nevilles or the Marsalis royalty, but what's here is fine listening.

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