City of Dreams: A Collections of New Orleans Music

Rounder
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  December 17, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
citydreamsinside
Compilations of New Orleans music have proliferated since Katrina, some worthier than others, but Rounder is positioned to cobble together one of the more representative samplers, having released dozens of recordings by Big Easy artists since the early ’80s. The four discs that make up City of Dreams don’t pretend to be a comprehensive overview, however. Contemporary jazz has never been much of a Rounder priority, so those jazz artists that turn up tend to run toward the traditional, barrelhouse pianos and brass bands outnumbering squawking saxes and skronking guitars. Rounder has divvied the set up by theme: one disc each for blues (Johnny Adams, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown), “Street Beat” (the aforementioned brass ensembles), funk/soul (Walter “Wolfman” Washington, the Meters’ George Porter), and piano. It’s that last disc that shines brightest. Nothing says NOLA more definitively than a Professor Longhair or James Booker boogie, and Rounder’s catalogue boasts some of the finest late recordings of each. The 48 tracks assembled here are another reminder of what’s been lost in the wind and rain. Tuts Washington’s set-ending “Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans” is a moving coda, yet City of Dreams never comes off as an epitaph.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Jazz and Blues,  More more >
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