17 Songs, 1 Hour 11 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Dr. John’s trademark is his singing voice, a supple, jazzy croak — but there's no singing on this album. And yet Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack lacks nothing. That Dr. John can say everything he needs to say on a piano tells you everything you need to know about the magnitude of his talent. This 1981 session brings the Doctor back to his early days, when he played keyboards as a studio musician in New Orleans and Los Angeles. What you have here is the sound of someone totally at ease with his instrument. Everything that people love about Dr. John’s music is present in these piano solos — his sincerity and his elegance, his sense of jazz and his feel for funk. These tunes hearken to every corner of the New Orleans piano tradition, echoing Jelly Roll Morton, Allen Toussaint and everything between. Even though there is nothing staid about these recordings, they seem to come from an ancient time — this could be the soundtrack to an 1800s brothel, or a 1930s honky-tonk. For all the tricks and frills of his best work, this is the essence of Dr. John — eternal, ingenious piano man entertainment.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Dr. John’s trademark is his singing voice, a supple, jazzy croak — but there's no singing on this album. And yet Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack lacks nothing. That Dr. John can say everything he needs to say on a piano tells you everything you need to know about the magnitude of his talent. This 1981 session brings the Doctor back to his early days, when he played keyboards as a studio musician in New Orleans and Los Angeles. What you have here is the sound of someone totally at ease with his instrument. Everything that people love about Dr. John’s music is present in these piano solos — his sincerity and his elegance, his sense of jazz and his feel for funk. These tunes hearken to every corner of the New Orleans piano tradition, echoing Jelly Roll Morton, Allen Toussaint and everything between. Even though there is nothing staid about these recordings, they seem to come from an ancient time — this could be the soundtrack to an 1800s brothel, or a 1930s honky-tonk. For all the tricks and frills of his best work, this is the essence of Dr. John — eternal, ingenious piano man entertainment.

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