N'Awlinz: Dis Dat or D'Udda

N'Awlinz: Dis Dat or D'Udda

by Dr. John

A musician whose career spans from the '50s to the present tends to have quite a few friends, from both high and low places. And if that player is from New Orleans -- the cradle of jazz and nurturer of blues, R&B, and funk -- that list could practically fill the Louisiana Superdome. So it is with vocalist/keyboardist/songwriter Dr. John, who has played most popular…  See more details below


A musician whose career spans from the '50s to the present tends to have quite a few friends, from both high and low places. And if that player is from New Orleans -- the cradle of jazz and nurturer of blues, R&B, and funk -- that list could practically fill the Louisiana Superdome. So it is with vocalist/keyboardist/songwriter Dr. John, who has played most popular musical styles and played them well enough to heal the most depressed soul. Originally dubbed the Night Tripper (after his 1967 debut recording as a psychedelic voodoo doctor), Dr. John brings many of his hometown colleagues together for N’awlinz: Dis, Dat or D’udda, a collection that spans the sounds of big bands, R&B, blues, gospel, voodoo, and novelty tunes. There’s even a short instrumental tango with his touring band and the smooth pop organist Willie Tee. In addition to Crescent City–bred players, luminaries such as B. B. King, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Willie Nelson, and the soul and gospel vocalist Mavis Staples are brought into the heady roux, deepening the flavor. It’s a hefty CD: There are 18 cuts, none of them a loser. Winners include “Stakalee,” which is done in the early New Orleans R&B style and features native drummer Earl Palmer, who is often credited with creating the backbeat of rock ‘n’ roll. And Dr. John’s piano solo is fine enough to slaughter any thought that this CD is star-studded to cover up an aging talent. The usually lowdown and slow blues “St. James Infirmary” is Latinized and features the horn section of Wardell Quezergue, the noted New Orleans producer who has also worked with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon. The early New Orleans R&B hitmaker Eddie Bo’s singing is as strong and bluesy as ever. Singer Mavis Staples shines like a neon cross in the sin-filled Latin Quarter on “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Lay My Burden Down. Staples can growl, testify, and shout without losing the sweetness of a Sunday morning Methodist choir. The anthem in the set, “Time Marches On,” would fit well in both a church and a barroom. It features one of New Orleans’ best marching bands, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and B. B. King, Willie Nelson, and Dr. John on vocals. The set opens with the instrumental “Quatre Parishe” and ends with the hymn “I’m Goin Home” (with Cyrille Neville singing like an angel), both lush and lavishly produced and featuring Quezergue’s string section. But no matter who or what moves into the spotlight on this album, nothing outshines Dr. John’s playing or singing or his place as one of American popular music’s dearest treasures. And with N’awlinz: Dis, Dat or D’udda, Dr. John has created the best musical tribute to the Crescent City to date.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
N'Awlinz: Dis Dat or d'Udda is a very good record, but it could have been a great one. One has to wonder if the idea of having all these high-profile guest vocalists was Dr. John's, Blue Note's, or producer Stewart Levine's, in order to follow the 21st century trendiness of having "celebrity" guests on a session. This is Mac Rebennack's homeboy album, a tribute to his city and its players. He's recorded some in New Orleans, to be sure, but never has he been able to make use of the Crescent City's greatest arranger, Wardell Quezergue, to such an extent. In addition, the great Doctor was able to enlist Earl Palmer, Smokey Johnson, Nicholas Payton, Dave Bartholemew, Eddie Bo, Walter Wolfman Washington, Snooks Eaglin, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Alfred "Uganda" Roberts, Willie Tee, and a huge slew of players to help him out on canonical N.O. repertoire. The sheer number of percussionists on this set is staggering and welcome. On nuggets like "When the Saints Go Marching In," sung funeral style, the Davell Crawford Singers and the Quezergue horns kick it with the rhythm section and front line. "St. James Infirmary" has Bo second-lining the band as he duets with Mac. The Cousin Joe (Pleasant Joseph) tunes like "Life's a One Way Ticket," Bartholomew's "The Monkey," and Mac's own brilliant "Shango Tango" smolder with that strutting, finger-poppin' R&B. So what's the problem? The lame, completely lifeless vocals of Randy Newman, a track with B.B. King and Willie Nelson, and Nelson on his own on three tracks that will remain nameless mar something so beautifully done that it otherwise might have been one of the finest New Orleans records since the early '60s. There are other guest vocalists who bring home the bacon on duets with Dr. John -- Mavis Staples on "Lay My Burden Down," Cyril Neville on the amazing read of Robert Gurley's "Marie Laveau," and Rebbenack's closer, "I'm Goin Home," are stellar. And King even rises to the occasion on his duet with Mac on "Hen Layin' Rooster." Dr. John is in amazing voice here, his piano playing is knife-edge tough and funky, and his performances are so inspired that they are perhaps career-defining. Three out of 18 cuts is minuscule after all, and the rest of this set is so badass that it should be purchased regardless. After all, what is the remote control for? It's a contender to be sure, but it could have been a champion.
The Independent (U. K.)
N'Awlinz returns to the musical well of his native city, quite brilliantly.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Emi Mod Afw


  1. Quatre Parishe
  2. When the Saints Go Marching In  - Mavis Staples
  3. Lay My Burden Down  - Mavis Staples
  4. Marie Laveau  -  Mardi Gras Indians
  5. Dear Old Southland  - Nicholas Payton
  6. Dis, Dat or d'Udda
  7. Chickee le Pas  -  Mardi Gras Indians
  8. The Monkey  - Dave Bartholomew
  9. Shango Tango  - Willie Tee
  10. I Ate Up the Apple Tree  - Randy Newman
  11. You Ain't Such a Much
  12. Life's a One Way Ticket
  13. Hen Layin' Rooster  - B.B. King
  14. Stakalee
  15. Eh las Bas  - Leroy Jones
  16. St. James Infirmary
  17. Time Marches On  - B.B. King
  18. I'm Goin' Home  - Cyril Neville

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dr. John   Primary Artist,Organ,Guitar,Piano,Vocals,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Snooks Eaglin   Guitar,Vocals
Walter "Wolfman" Washington   Guitar
Willie Nelson   Guitar,Vocals
Eddie Bo   Vocals,Spoken Word
Randy Newman   Vocals
Dirty Dozen Brass Band   Brass,Track Performer
Steve Masakowski   Acoustic Guitar
Dave Bartholomew   Trumpet
Willie Tee   Organ,Keyboards,Vocals
Anthony Bailey   Group Member
David Barard   Electric Bass
Carl Blouin   Saxophone,Group Member
John Boudreaux   Percussion
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown   Viola
Joachim Cooder   Percussion
Herman V. Ernest   Drums
Bill Huntington   Banjo,Acoustic Bass
Smokey Johnson   Percussion,Bass Drums,Tambourine
Leroy Jones   Trumpet
B.B. King   Guitar,Vocals
Craig Klein   Trombone,Group Member
Roger Lewis   Baritone Saxophone,Group Member
Cyril Neville   Percussion,Vocals
Earl Palmer   Drums,Snare Drums
Nicholas Payton   Trumpet
Wardell Quezergue   Strings,Horn
Alfred "Uganda" Roberts   Bongos,Conga,Drums
Kenyatta Simon   Percussion
Mavis Staples   Vocals
Efrem Towns   Trumpet,Group Member
Eric Traub   Saxophone,Group Member
John Fohl   Guitar
Monk Boudreaux   Group Member
Charlie Miller   Trumpet,Group Member
Bill Schultz   Cello,Group Member
Creolettes   Vocals
Elliot Callier   Tenor Saxophone,Group Member
Connie Fitch   Background Vocals,Group Member
Mei-Mei Wei   Violin,Group Member
Wesley Phillips   Group Member
Victor Harris   Group Member
Julius McKee   Tuba,Group Member
Jason Mingledorff   Saxophone,Group Member
Rachel Jordan   Violin,Group Member
Sammie Williams   Trombone,Group Member
Brian Quezerque   Conductor
Scott Slapin   Viola,Group Member
Bernard E. Floyd   Trumpet,Group Member
Betty Beckford   Group Member
Burton Callaham   Violin,Group Member
Davell Singers Crawford   Choir, Chorus
Sunni Fitch   Background Vocals,Group Member
Shawn Hampton   Group Member
Amy Hiaville   Violin,Group Member
Collins "Coach" Lewis   Group Member
Mardi Gras Indians   Vocals
Valeria Maxwell   Group Member
Tanya Solomon   Viola,Group Member
Lil Charles Taylor   Group Member
Eric Trolsen   Trombone,Group Member
Stephanie Whitfield   Background Vocals,Group Member
Clifford Smith   Group Member

Technical Credits

Dr. John   Liner Notes,Composer
Kid Ory   Composer
Dave Bartholomew   Composer
Henry Creamer   Composer
Stewart Levine   Producer,Audio Production
Rik Pekkonen   Engineer
Wardell Quezergue   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Davell Crawford   Arranger,Vocal Arrangements
Dave Williams   Composer
Pleasant Joseph   Composer
Pearl King   Composer
Joe Willoughby   Composer
Jason Stasium   Engineer
Ed Gerrard   Executive Producer
Traditional   Composer
Robert Gurley   Composer
Joe Primrose   Composer
Peter Himberger   Executive Producer
Martin Kaelin   Composer,Video Images
Cat Yellen Rebennack   Cover Photo

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