(Ace Records) 20 tracks 'Specialty' (49:31) - You say Zodico I
say Zydeco, whichever way you say it, Clifton Chenier was the undisputed
King & these 1955 Specialty sides go a long way to proving it. - To this day, Clifton Chenier is probably the best known name in
zydeco music. Much of this recognition was fuelled by Clifton being
championed as the first major star after the rediscovery of the music in
the early '60s (perhaps discovery would be a better word as most
American and European listeners had never heard sounds like these
before). Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records began issuing albums
by Clifton in 1964 and it was his involvement that led to around a dozen
new albums of Chenier being recorded plus a wealth of reissued cajun
and zydeco archive material (dating from the 1920s through to the '50s)
making it to microgroove.
Clifton played festivals, his material
was licensed to labels like Blue Thumb (Harvest in England) and he
appeared in the Les Blank documentary Hot Pepper. Health problems beset
him in the 70s and, following an operation to amputate his foot, he died
on 12 December 1987. His distinctive blend of zydeco accordion
tradition, Louisiana swamp blues rhythms and the latest (often Excello
label) R&B hits made his zydeco brand of blues and boogie a potent
brew and an influence on many that followed after him. Go to a gig by
either Queen Ida or Rockin' Dopsie, for instance, and you are hearing
Clifton's legacy writ large. Long before his 1964 (re)discovery,
however, Clifton, then a regional performer of note, had cut sessions
for Specialty. Three singles were released, Ay-Te Te Fee b / w Boppin
The Rock, being a particular best seller and getting Clifton booked into
a large R&B package show which included Etta James, Lowell Fulsom
and Jimmy Reed.
Most of the Specialty material remained on the
shelf until 1971, when the Bayou Blues album appeared. For Zodico Blues
& Boogie, Ray Topping has dug deep into the Specialty vaults and
come up with not only a fuller appraisal of the artist's work for the
label, but one more truthful to the sounds going down in the studio at
the time. Many of the issued titles, including those on Bayou Blues had
been doctored technologically by overdubbing and splicing intercuts.
Zodico Blues & Boogie presents these sides for the first time
without the sweeteners. Diamonds in the rough, as they were heard back
Article properties: Clifton Chenier: Zodico Blues & Boogie (CD)
Customer evaluation for "Zodico Blues & Boogie (CD)"
From:ClaudeOn:6 May 2018
An historical document. 20 tracks from 3 Sessions in L.A. in 1955. Several unreleased pieces. Most of them in English. 2 tracks in bastard french AY-Te te fee (He petite fille). From Speciality Label licensed 1992 from Ace (London). Good Cajun Louisiana Music. Good sound.