When Mac Rebennack night-tripped to L.A. in 1965 he joined up with one of the Big Easy's most distinctive vocalists to record this lone single for A&M Records. For such a supreme quality record on a major label to be such a rarity means that the Zu Zu Blues Band was lost in the label's mountain of whipped cream that year and clipped before it ever had a chance to get off the ground. This is too bad because "Zu Zu Man" may be the perfect all-time soul dance record - groovy, infectious, dynamic, timeless, and unique in almost every way from the wild beat to the shimmering B3 to the exotic riff. Though it retains a very New Orleans syncopation, its way more upbeat than a lot of Louisiana groovers and so spacious and pentatonic and weird that its hard to place when and where it comes from. Dr. John and Jessie Hill sound exactly like Dr. John and Jessie Hill but this recording is an entirely new place and time for them. Two familiar characters in an unfamiliar setting. Though the two collaborated in L.A. on a few Pulsar Records after this, Zu Zu Man is a portal to a dimension that neither of them, and none of us for that matter, have ever entered again.... Turning this is as close as any of us will ever get.
This is my daily addition to the New York Night Train Party Platter playlist. Each track here is recorded directly from the original 45 (no bootlegs, reproductions, etc) to give you an idea of what the real deal authentic vinyl sounds like. COME BACK EVERY DAY FOR A NEW FIX! Because the records pass so quickly at my parties, this channel is an attempt to stop and focus on one record at a time in hopes that it'll turn you on to the artists, tracks, labels, etc. But mostly I hope this music moves you as much as it moves me.
Get your enjoys,
Soul Proprietor, New York Night Train
Friday, July 24, 2015
This is the continuing series I will post every other day while i'm out of town, thanks to Jonathan Toubin DJ of New York Night Train