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VT Reviews Professor Longhair
Crawfish Fiesta
(c)1999 by VT Vincent Tseng

Professor Longhair - "Crawfish Fiesta" - Alligator ALCD 4718

In the eyes of the Lord - all men are created equal It's just that some men are more equal than others The 'Fess is a more equal man

Almost any Professor Longhair album is worth owning. It's just that some albums are worth owning more than others This (along with "The Complete London Concert") is one of them.

This was the 'Fess's last recording - he died shortly after it was recorded and I'm not sure whether he actually saw the release of this album. If you want to leave the world with something to remember you by, even with the vaulted heights of the 'Fess - this album is as good as you can get.

"Big Chief" - one of my favorite tunes of the 'Fess - written by Earl King - the original has a massive horn section that made the 'Fess jump out of his skinny skin. Here the tune always sounded "fast" to me - but as the opening number to this CD it is just "perfect".

"Her Mind Is Gone" - I think this was one of his old classics - anyway this has clever lyrics and some very nice drumming (starts by riddling on the rim) by John Vidacovich (one of the top drummers on the NOLA scene)

"Something On Your Mind" - a great heartfelt rendition - originally recorded in 1963 as a Watch single - I much prefer this arrangement.

"You're Driving Me Crazy" - full of the 'Fess's vocal off-kilterness. I'm sure that this was a tune he used to call "No Buts, No May Bes" again I like this arrangement and 'Fess's vocals and piano playing here over the classic.

"Red Beans" - oh yes! Worth it for the price of admission - just listen to this track to be sold (down the river as a slave to his music forever). I'm not sure if there was a previous version by the 'Fess.

You know, I really shouldn't have to review much more to tell you that this is some "more than equal" album - ... Go listen to "Whole Lotta Love" (track 11)'s vocals to understand why - the 'Fess was and still is a national treasure. You really should have this, along with the Complete London Concert, in your collection.

Vincent

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