[Dixielandjazz] Dr.John

Berry Zand Scholten bzssvs at wxs.nl
Wed Aug 6 22:23:36 PDT 2003

Dear OKOM-friends,

Dr. John has been one of my favourite musicians since the late sixties. His real name is Mack Rebenack and he was born and raised in New Orleans. In the late sixties Mack Rebenack came to The Netherlands for a concert at the Holland Pop Festival in Kralingen (Rotterdam), a huge rock- and popfestival, where rockartists as Grace Slick (and Jefferson Airplane), The Byrds, It's a beautiful day, Mungo Jerry and many others performed. Just after the festival (a kind of Dutch 'Woodstock' (!) Dr. John  performed in the Ruïne van Brederode, a historic castle in the northern part of the province North Holland. He was accompanied by a group of blach female dancers and played a kind of role as a voodoo-priest from New Orleans.

In those days Dr. John made a couple of rock-LP's , but you always could hear (loud en clearly) where he came from. Many years later he brought the CD 'Back to New Orleans' on the market, on which he played guitar, piano in beautiful old songs as the orginal Buddy Bolden Blues, Milenberg Joys, How come my dog does not bark when you ome along,  et cetera. Dr.  John has a remarkable voice and a very special diction. In the eighties he made two CD's with the British Chris Barber Jazz- and Bluesband. Fantastic ! His piano playing is unique....simple, swinging but very stylish.

I interviewed him in the early years for the Dutch Telegraaf, the biggest newspaper in Holland and ever since I followed his musical adventures.

I think I'm right when I say that he also produces music for movies. (a.o.  the famous movie about 101 'Dalmation'  dogs, in which Glen Close played a leading role as the bad witch). 

Mack Rebenack is a very good composer as well. My band in Holland (The Pepperhouse Swing Factory, Enkhuizen, The Netherlands) is going to play one of his songs: 'A big bass drum on a Mardi Gras Day'.

Dr. John is very worth listening to, he plays boogie and blues piano that gives you gooseflesh and he can sing the blues like hell. He worked with many famous musicians from N.O. and of course with Chris Barber. Those CD's us were released by the Dutch label 'Timeless'  and the British 'Black Lion label'. On the CD ; Chris Barber and Dr. John' you can listen to fantastic heavily New Orleans-oriented music with songs as 'Take me back to New Orleans', Ti-pi, Ti-na' , the beautifully arranged songs 'New Orleans' (Hoagie Carmichael), The Big Bass Drum and a special live concert of the Barber Band, Dr. John and the New Orleans Brass Band.

So, if you guys keep talking about those 'good old days' with discussions about 'whether we like Art Tatum or not', or whether Bix Beiderbecke played a right or a wrong note on February 18th 1928 with the Paul Whiteman Orchestera......I don't care or give a damn. Those discussions went on for years (and will go on in the future). Okay, that's fine to me. But before someone says again: 'A piano song was played by a guy name Dr. John, whoever that may be ! ', ah, well....... well, maybe you have some time left to listen to one of the CD's mentioned above. 

You will certainly have a better time than during the argues about one particular Beiderbecke note in 'Mississippi Mud' or whatever.

I wish you a a slendid summer with a lot of OKOM and...... Dr. John.

Berry Zand Scholten
The Netherlands
bzssvs at wxs.nl   

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