The Sun, Moon and Herbs
After an extended sojourn in sunny Los Angeles, Dr. John departed for London at the dawn of the ‘70s to commune with his famous musician friends. The Sun, Moon and Herbs is one of the great conglomerations of talent in rock music history. The credits list almost forty names, among them Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, and Graham Bond. There are jazz heavies (Walter Davis Jr., Ray Draper), Rolling Stones auxiliaries (Jim Price, Bobby Keys), Muscle Shoals blowers (the Memphis Horns), R&B queens (Doris Troy, P.P. Arnold, Tami Lynn), and damn near all of Derek & The Dominos. For any other album, this would simply be a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, but Dr. John has always thrived in the role of ringmaster. Particularly in his early career, he wasn’t happy if he wasn’t in the midst of a little chaos. Like any good Louisianan, he understood how to mix a gumbo. The album is loose and more than a little all over the place, but in a more refined fashion than Rebennack’s first three albums. As with James Brown’s Hell or Can’s Tago Mago, this is music that earns its sprawl.