This volume was released back in 1995 and featured the mighty Beau Jocque on the cover, the man who, like Clifton Chenier and Boozoo Chavis before him, changed the face of zydeco by taking it to another level. Since that time, Jocque has passed away, leaving us his precious few recordings and the music of his peers who were deeply influenced by his Cajun soul on a roll style of zydeco. Unlike the players that came after him, Jocque and his generation were indebted to and therefore respectful to the Cajun and zydeco traditions they came from. They understood the music of their forbears as a social one; the music they inherited from Chavis, John Delafose, and Chenier was rooted as deeply in the blues and R&B traditions of New Orleans as it was in the Cajun traditions of Evangeline Parish, and therefore played as dance music, party music, music to get drunk to, to laugh to, to do the down and dirty bump to. This did not mean it was empty of musical prowess, far from it, but innovation for Jocque and his contemporaries — all of whom are still on the scene — was secondary to feeling and purpose. This volume kicks off with two jumping tunes from Robby Robinson’s Zydeco Force and Zydeco, respectively, which are featured on no less than four selections here. In „You Worry Me,“ the soulful blues of Solomon Burke and Johnnie Taylor are taken into consideration as an intersection point for raw zydeco romp. The result is a song form that holds as much feeling in it as it does movement. Chris Ardoin’s „Black Cadillac,“ one of three offerings on this volume, considers the bravado of Wilson Pickett with an early Cajun reel and moves it up to 100 miles an hour. This is slip and glide music. It’s impossible to dance to at the proper tempo so all that’s left to do is let your backbone slip and shimmy to the raucous party of sounds and rhythms — created by a hyper-kinetic washboard and a drum kit — falling down around your ears. A great example of how the tradition is still held in esteem by Jocque’s generation is in Geno Delafose’s reading of Cajun music father Iry LeJeune’s „Jeunes Filles de la Campagne.“ The rhythms and tempos are modern, the accordion runs are too, but the melody of the track and its harmonies remain intact, untouched by Delafose. There is no need to reconstruct something so fine, so beautiful as an Iry LeJeune song, but to bring it into one’s own time and place it to extend that song’s lineage with honor. Another artist from this zydeco generation is the incomparable Rosie Ledet, who, unfortunately, has only one selection here. Here is the sound of zydeco music as it encounters early rock and even the sound of Hank Williams‚ country music. Her vocals come right from the center of her body, every word is pronounced with depth of feeling whether it’s a ballad or, in this case, a tale of lust. Her music is a shuffling zone: where rhythm controls every element that fills it. She sings that way too, never stretching that rhythm but always grooving deeply within it. Her records, kind of hard to find since some of them are out of print, are well worth seeking out. Likewise, the moving Memphis soul-drenched „I’m Comin‘ Home“ by the Sam Bros. Five reveals a little-known but highly individual take on the root music. This cut is the most lonesome zydeco tune this writer has ever heard, and the accordion solo is to die for before the bar-walkin‘ sax kicks in during the bridge. And then there’s the mighty Jocque. His three selections here reveal the hard soul and full on rockification of his brand of zydeco — but it remains zydeco. He has no need to shift rhythms or melodic ideas. The call-and-response choruses on „Give Him Cornbread“ retain the music’s country roots while kicking their tempos into overdrive with rock guitars to accompany the accordions, and the harmonies slide around the melodies with major sevenths and ninths. On „Ma Brunette,“ Jocque displays his completely evolved style that encompasses Chenier and Chavis with Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Howlin‘ Wolf, and ZZ Top. It’s a smoky, greasy, slippery blues shuffle that holds the zydeco line melodically and harmonically. Loud guitars are only held in check by Jocque’s accordion, the polyrhythms play a traditional two step, but from the heart of Delta blues. His signature cut closes the album, the „Bo Jocque Shuffle.“ Blues guitars kick it off with a funky shuffle as Jocque counters with a minor key riff on the accordion. As he shouts out dance directions — or are they lovemaking tips? — the band moves ever deeper into the groove, hypnotically turning it into a file gumbo snake dance. While other names included here haven’t been mentioned, it’s not because their contributions aren’t worthy. There isn’t a weak track of the 19 included here. In sum, there is no other modern zydeco collection that reaches as wide or is as consistent in its stellar quality as this one.
CD im Jewelcase mit Booklet / Mp3-Download
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