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Medicated Magic (Atlantic)
     

Medicated Magic (Atlantic)

by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
 

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In their quarter-century career, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band have moved out of the New Orleans parade tradition to play gigs with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Elvis Costello, all the while honing their own sound into a funky, horn-laden stew of jazz and blues. To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the Dozen go back home for a set of Crescent City gems. Under the

Overview

In their quarter-century career, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band have moved out of the New Orleans parade tradition to play gigs with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Elvis Costello, all the while honing their own sound into a funky, horn-laden stew of jazz and blues. To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the Dozen go back home for a set of Crescent City gems. Under the leadership of founding member and trumpet player Gregory Davis, the band invite a multitude of guests to their recording party. On Allen Toussaint’s “Everything I Do Gon' Be Funky,” Dr. John adds his gris-gris growl, while vocalist John Bell of Widespread Panic sings the Good Dr.'s tune “Walk on Gilded Spinters.” Several numbers, including the Meters’ “Cissy Strut,” feature the searing guitar of Robert Randolph, though none of his churchy Sacred Steel work is at play here. Even the hot vocalist of the moment, Norah Jones, is invited to give a vulnerable rendition of the Irma Thomas signature tune, “Ruler of My Heart.” And DJ Logic steps up the turntables for the Meters’ “Africa.” As for the Dozen, they blast away on “Ain’t Nothin’ but a Party” and “We Got Robbed,” an autobiographical number about having all their equipment stolen (it was eventually found and returned). But the main message on Medicated Magic is that the Dozen can dose up all kinds of music, skillfully blending in some additives from the pop and rock worlds.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
New Orleans' most famous, well-traveled, and recorded brass band celebrates its 25th anniversary with its ninth release. Best known in rock circles for contributions to albums from the Black Crowes, Elvis Costello, and especially Widespread Panic (with whom they toured and whose John Bell appears as guest vocalist on a track), the hotshot horn men offer few surprises on this disc predominantly comprised of popular Crescent City classics. But why bother stretching boundaries when their sound remains unique, stimulating, and inspiring? Adding a full-time keyboardist and guitar fleshes out but doesn't dilute the seven tooting horns as they tear through an inspired if slightly obvious set of covers from hometown legends Aaron Neville ("Tell It Like It Is"), the Meters ("Africa," "Cissy Strut"), Irma Thomas ("Ruler of My Heart"), and Dr. John ("Walk on Gilded Splinters," "Junko Partner") with infectious enthusiasm. Guests range from sacred steel guitar master Robert Randolph -- whose soaring, hair-raising solos on three tracks infuse even more goosebumps than the already nail-biting musicianship -- to Dr. John on vocals and piano, DJ Logic (adding nifty scratching doesn't appreciably update the Dozens' down-home approach), and jazzman Olu Dara. Sexy chanteuse Norah Jones gets slinky on the most sensuous version of "Ruler of My Heart" ever recorded, and Dr. John's gritty vocals make the slow-groove version of Allen Toussaint's "Everything I Do Gon' Be Funky" even better than Lee Dorsey's original. But no matter how often you've heard these tunes, the Dirty Dozen's crackling second-line rhythms, bumping tuba basslines, and uncanny ability to shift from boiling low-down gumbo to cool jazz make the versions here essential listening. "It Ain't Nothin' but a Party," as they say in the appropriately titled opening track.
New York Times
Twenty-five years on from its New Orleans debut, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band continues to be a national treasure: steeped in both the past and the present, impossible to categorize, and mighty funky.
Entertainment Weekly
Celebrates their achievements as genre saviors

Product Details

Release Date:
04/23/2002
Label:
Rope A Dope
UPC:
0821838293125
catalogNumber:
931202
Rank:
78069

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dirty Dozen Brass Band   Primary Artist
Dr. John   Piano,Vocals
Olu Dara   Trumpet,Vocals
John Bell   Vocals
Gregory Davis   Trumpet,Vocals
Roger Lewis   Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Vocals
James McLean   Guitar,Vocals
Efrem Towns   Trumpet,Vocals
Kevin Harris   Tenor Saxophone,Vocals
DJ Logic   Turntables
Julius McKee   Sousaphone,Vocals
Frederick Sanders   Keyboards,Vocals
Terence Higgins   Drums,Vocals
Robert Randolph   Pedal Steel Guitar,Track Performer
Norah Jones   Vocals
Sammie Williams   Trombone,Vocals
Terrence Higgens   Drums

Technical Credits

Art Neville   Composer
John Bell   Vocal Engineer
Bob Shad   Composer
Craig Street   Producer,Audio Production
Steve Debro   Executive Producer
S. "Husky" Hoskulds   Engineer
Aaron Luis Levinson   Liner Notes
David Bias   Art Direction
Brandon Mason   Engineer
John Anaya   Engineer

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