Another Funky Miracle
Leo, Zig, George, & Art
"Little Old Money Maker" (Nocentelli-Porter-Neville-Modeliste)
from Look-Ka Py Py, Josie, 1970
Well, the big news around HOTG for this week is the reunion of the original Meters at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Saturday. And, that’s just one highlight during a little over a week of musical abundance on and off the festival grounds. For example, other goings on next week include WWOZ Piano Night, honoring Allen Toussaint this year; and the amazing Ponderosa Stomp, over at the Rock ‘n’ Bowl, one of the coolest time warp venues in town. The Stomp goes on for two nights ‘til all hours, courtesy of the Mystic Knights Of The Mau Mau,, and has an eclectic mix of classic performers, mostly from the Fifties and Sixties.
In honor of the brief, semi-miraculous re-grouping of the Meters (and we cross our fingers, toes and selves that it will actually come off without a band member bolting, as has happened before), I submit one of their early album cuts for your consideration. A group collaboration, “Little Old Money Maker” gets up and grooves. It’s an aural snapshot of the band around 1970, rolling with rhythmic unity and melodic diversity, their lean, quirky funk hinging on the idiosyncratic gifts of drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste. Breaking out of their formative hometown funk scene, surpassing worthy peers like The Gladiators, Sam & The Soul Machine, Eddie Bo’s outfits, and the Gaturs, they became surely the most influential non-jazz group to ever arise from the Crescent City. But, as I all to often have to say, that did not lead them to widespread recognition or commercial success in their day.
Maybe you’re heading this way to catch the show. If so, I’ll be among the masses there with you, staking out my little piece of holy ground. If you go, let me know what you think. I’ll probably give a report upon my return. I never did tell y’all anything about the French Quarter Festival, either. I’ve got a new job that’s been eating time; then my computer got possessed. But I’ll get back up to speed one of these days. In the meantime, if you don’t make it to Jazzfest, don’t despair; just turn this one up real loud and loose the booty.
****PS: Forgot to mention that virtually all of the Meters' recorded output is available remastered on Sundazed. You need it.