I Like It Like That
A quintessential voice of New Orleans soul in the '60s, Chris Kenner belted out tales of a life lived high and wide. His boozy drawl didn’t so much evoke the wild side of the city's nightlife as embody it. Kenner's probably best known for two songs: the bleary-eyed party rocker “I Like It Like That" and the ultimate dance-craze tune “Land of 1000 Dances.” Both of these are included on I Like It Like That, a 24-track compilation that focuses on the sides Kenner cut for the Instant label between 1961 and 1968 with producers and arrangers like Allen Toussaint, Eddie Bo, and Dave Bartholomew. Though the hits sound as good as they ever did, the most revelatory numbers may be more obscure compositions like “All Night Rambler” (a shockingly robust bit of low-down proto-funk that benefits from a tough-as-nails arrangement from Eddie Bo) and “They Took My Money” (a tune Kenner wrote with help from his old pal Fats Domino). The latter might be the roughest, most gloriously sleazy tune that this essential collection of New Orleans R&B has to offer.