Release Year: 2014
Label: ACE Records
- Ooh Poo Pah Doo – Jessie Hill
- I Got To Know – Eddie Bo
- Trick Bag – Earl King
- New Orleans Twist – Blazer Boy
- Something You Got – Chris Kenner
- We Got A Party Part II – The Party Boys
- The Joke – Reggie Hall
- Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye – Danny White
- Second Fiddle Girl – Barbara Lynn
- You Told Me – Willie West
- I’m Gonna Get You Yet – The Tick-Tocks
- This Is The City – Berna-Dean
- Who Shot The Lala – Oliver Morgan
- The Monkey Speaks His Mind – Dave Bartholomew & His Orchestra
- Did She Mention My Name – Ronnie Barron
- Get Out Of My Life, Woman – Lee Dorsey
- 99 Plus 1 – June Gardner
- Teasin’ You – Willie Tee
- Barefootin’ – Robert Parker
- Tell It Like It Is – Aaron Neville
- Poor Sam – Earl King
- Release Me – Johnny Adams
- Lover & A Friend – Eddie Bo & Inez Cheatham
- Play A Cornbread Song For Me And My Baby – Joe Haywood
Reviewed In OffBeat
Jeff Hannusch (October 2014 Issue)
Not the first CD inspired by a website, but Cracking the Cosimo Code is certainly the first one inspired by a website devoted to researching New Orleans R&B. (For more on the Cosimo Code, check Offbeat’s May 2013 issue or go to Cosimocode.com.)
Obviously a tribute to the late architect of the New Orleans Sound and all around great guy, Cosimo Matassa, this is one of the most ambitious and well thought out reissues of New Orleans R&B ever undertaken. Sound quality here is stupendous. In all cases, the tracks were taken from the original master.
Music wise, it’s a mix of all-too familiar national hits, Seventh Ward favorites and tracks “from way, way, way back in the crypt” as WWOZ’s Billy Delle would say. The hits don’t require comment—Jessie Hill’s “Ooh Poo Pa Doo,” Chris Kenner’s “Something You Got,” Aaron Neville’s “Tell It Like It Is,” Lee Dorsey’s “Get Out of My Life Woman,” Robert Parker’s “Barefootin’,” Johnny Adams’ “Release Me.” Of the neighborhood hits—check off Reggie Hall’s novelty “The Joke,” Danny White’s classic ballad “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,” Oliver Morgan’s infectious “Who Shot the La La,” detective Earl King’s “Trick Bag,” and the Huey Smith-inspired classic he wrote for Willie Tee, “Teasin’ You.” A few obscure surprises jump out, including Blazer Boy’s catchy “New Orleans Twist,” King’s humorous “Poor Sam” and the Tick Tock’s “I’m Gonna Get You Yet,” where Motown meets the Ninth Ward.
There’s a few head scratchers here though, including the inclusion of Barbara Lynn material over Irma Thomas and a couple of the generous 24 tracks frankly are stinkers. Sources at Ace report the first pressing of Cracking the Cosimo Code sold out in less than a week and already folks are clamoring for a volume two.
Presently though, it seems remote that will happen as legally licensing tracks from this era is increasingly expensive and difficult, as ownership of this material is scattered and often questionable. (Ace’s lawyer has been deflecting lawsuits since the release of this collection). As always with Ace, extensive, informative notes (I got a name check!) and several rare photos.
If you dig the New Orleans R&B groove, this one is for you.