March 11, 2005

Gettin' Nervis

"Do Sumpin'" (Baytos-Kane-Modeliste)
Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Brothers from Take Some Mambo Time

I remember reading back in the 1990’s that Zig Modeliste was playing with a band out in California called The Nervis Brothers and that they had a CD out. Liking nothing more than a mission, I set out to find said CD, but didn’t have any luck for a long time. The Louisiana Music Factory hadn’t even heard of it; and they get a lot of obscure New Orleans-related stuff, believe me. Then one hot day in the City That Care Forgot when the “humiture” was like 210 (aka normal), I was at the Magic Bus’ old location, an un-air-conditioned sweatbox of a store on Conti in the Quarter, busting the bins, when I found it. I had almost passed over it, because the spine showed Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Brothers.

Just looking at the listed players assured me that Take Some Mambo Time was the CD I was looking for, with appearances by Zig and fellow former Meter Leo Nocentelli, New Orleans bass great David Lee Watson on every cut, as well as a host of LA,CA session players, including keyboardist, instigator Eddie Baytos. I don’t know if he is originally from Louisiana or not; but this multi-talented-tasker (singer, musician, composer, choreographer, actor) definitely has connections with some HOTG bred talent. His original songs (9 of the 10 on this disc) reveal the influences of blues, r&b, rock, and funk with a touch of Creole zydeco and Cajun at times.

It is the funk we address in this post as displayed on “Do Sumpin’”, an instrumental workout that gives famed drummer Modeliste plenty of excuse to demonstrate his unique approach to beat division.* On the guitars are Nocentelli (wah-wah) and Nick Kane (prior to his run with The Mavericks). Mr. Baytos plays both piano and organ on the track; and the horn section has seasoned West Coast session men: Lee Thornburg (Tower of Power) on trumpet, Jimmy Roberts on sax, and Nick Lane on trombone.

It seems The Nervis Brothers are sort of a revolving band of players that Baytos puts together mostly for occasional gigs out West. From the copyright dates, Take Some Mambo Time probably was recorded between 1991 and 1994; but it wasn’t widely distributed. Around 1999, it was re-issued under the title, I Ain’t Drunk. Anyway, the music on this CD is spirited and enjoyable; and the between song excerpts from some bizarro radio DJs are funk humor at its finest. With playing just greasy enough to be loose and right, the whole affair has the feel of friends playing for fun at a local bar with the chops to make it a party to remember for their audience, too.

By the way, maybe the drummers who check in to HOTG can tell me what time signature(s) we’ve got on this tune.

And the answer is. . . kudos to Roy Markowitz and Dwight Richards for giving me the count, after I ran out of fingers and toes. I'll quote Roy's email on this one, "To the rescue: The tune is in 4/4 time (albeit slow). After the first 4 0r 8 they move into, ready? One bar of 7/8 alternating with one bar of 8/8 (or 4/4). Count the eighth notes and you will see grasshopper. NICE!!" Check out Roy's blog, Hellhounds and Hoy Ghosts. Dwight is right on time, too, in the comments.
Man, it is so great to have top flight drummers contributing to this blog. Thanks, big time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dwight here: In the groove section, it sounds like a measure of 8/8 followed by a measure of 7/8.

9:38 PM, March 11, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home