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The Meters

Cissy Strut

The Meters

Cissy Strut

 

The second-line parade beat powering so much of New Orleans' R&B legacy was at the heart of The Meters' groovemaking exploits. Organist Art Neville, guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist George Porter, Jr., and drummer Joseph 'Zigaboo' Modeliste took their highly infectious instrumentals to an even funkier realm than previously envisioned, reinvigorating the entire Big Easy recording scene in the process.

 

Neville, born December 17, 1937 in the Crescent City, was the most experienced. He had pounded his aunt's piano at age nine. "Professor Longhair and Fats Domino and Ivory Joe Hunter, that's who I listened to," says Art, who joined The Hawketts at 15 and fronted their Mardi Gras Mambo for Chess in early '55. "We were the hottest group in the city at the time," he claims. Neville made some great rock and roll on his own on Specialty from '56 to '58—Oooh-Whee Baby, Cha-Dooky-Doo, What's Going On—and crooned Allen Toussaint's lovely ballad All These Things for Instant in '61.

Things slowed down after that. "I just didn't bother about playing, right before we put The Meters together," says Neville. "Art kind of went around and handpicked that band from different bands around the city," says Porter, who had been with Irving Banister & The All Stars. Leo came over from Sam & The Soul Machine, and Zig had been a sub for a previous drummer. "When he came back, he heard Zig playing with the band, and he just never asked for his gig!" says George.

Originally billed as Art Neville & The Neville Sounds (Art's brothers Aaron and Charles were also involved), the band was scouted by Toussaint and his partner Marshall Sehorn at a joint called the Ivanhoe. They pulled them in the studio to wax the funk-oozing instrumental Sophisticated Cissy , a national hit on New York-based Josie Records. "It kind of lingered around the charts, and Marshall and them got kind of worried, so he released 'Cissy Strut,'" says Porter, whose bass line, played in unison with Leo's axe, locks in with Zig's second-line traps in a pure distillation of New Orleans funk. Art has his say later on organ, albeit a brief one.

The Meters were a fixture on the R&B charts into 1971 on Josie with such anthems as Ease Back, Dry Spell, Look-Ka Py Py, Chicken Strut, and Hand Clapping Song. They eventually added Art's brother Cyril as vocalist, and had more success in '74 with Hey, Pokey-A-Way for Reprise before breaking up rather acrimoniously in 1977 when the Nevilles formed their own family band. Happily, there have been Meters reunions in recent years—and the funk they dish out still drips as easy as ever.

 

- Bill Dahl -

Various - Sweet Soul Music

Various - Sweet Soul Music 28 Scorching Classics From 1969

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A Message From The Meters - The Complete Josie, Reprise And Warner Bros. Singles (3-LP)
The Meters: A Message From The Meters - The Complete Josie,... Art-Nr.: LPRGM0632

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(2017/Real Gone) 40 tracks - The complete 'Josie', 'Reprise' and 'Warner Bros.' Singles, recorded between 1968 and 1977, feat. Joseph Modeliste, Art Neville, Cyril Neville, Leo Nocentilli and George Porter Jr.
$57.67
A Message From The Meters (2-CD)
The Meters: A Message From The Meters (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDRGM0491

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(2016/Real Gone) 40 Tracks - The complete Josie, Reprise and Warner Brothers singles, 1968-1977!
$34.58
Here Comes The Meter Man (2-CD) Compl.Josie
The Meters: Here Comes The Meter Man (2-CD) Compl.Josie Art-Nr.: CDSNAX627

Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays

(2011/CHARLY) 50 tracks Josie 1968-70. Hardcover Digiboook.
$18.41
Very Best Of
The Meters: Very Best Of Art-Nr.: CDSNAP002

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(2001/CHARLY) 23 tracks
$13.80
Trick Bag (1976) Colored HQ Vinyl
METERS: Trick Bag (1976) Colored HQ Vinyl Art-Nr.: LPREP2252C

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$21.88
Cabbage Alley (limited edition - colored vinyl)
METERS: Cabbage Alley (limited edition - colored vinyl) Art-Nr.: LPMS2076C

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(1972 'Warner Bros') (Rhino) 10 tracks.
$28.80
Struttin (Limited edition - colored vinyl)
METERS: Struttin (Limited edition - colored vinyl) Art-Nr.: JOSIE4012

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(Rhino) 12 tracks. Their 1970 Josie album.
$28.80
New Directions (180g HD-vinyl)
METERS: New Directions (180g HD-vinyl) Art-Nr.: LPBS3042

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(1977 'Warner Bros') Rhino
$18.41
Rejuvenation (1974) (limited edition - colored vinyl)
METERS: Rejuvenation (1974) (limited edition - colored... Art-Nr.: LPMS2200C

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(Rhino) 9 tracks. The 1974 Warner Brothers album.
$28.80
Zony Mash
The Meters: Zony Mash Art-Nr.: CDSC6211

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(1969-71 'Josie') (37:11/13) For the first time anywhere'an entire album filled with vintage rarities and non-album B-sides by the Meters, all glittering gems by New Orleans' wizards of slinky funk. Available on both CD and...
$13.80 $19.57
Zony Mash  (180g Edition)
The Meters: Zony Mash (180g Edition) Art-Nr.: SLP5087

Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays

LP auf SUNDAZED RECORDS von The Meters - Zony Mash (180g Edition) For the first time anywhere'an entire album filled with vintage rarities and non-album B-sides by the Meters, all glittering gems by New Orleans' wizards of slinky funk....
$34.58
Cabbage Alley ...plus (CD)
The Meters: Cabbage Alley ...plus (CD) Art-Nr.: CDSC6168

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(1972 'Reprise') (47:30/12) * = original 'Reprise' singles, not on LP The Meters' 1972 release Cabbage Alley was the incomparable quartet's first for Warner Bros./Reprise, and boasts a somewhat smoother, but no less funky, sound than its...
$19.57
Rejuvenation ...plus (CD)
The Meters: Rejuvenation ...plus (CD) Art-Nr.: CDSC6169

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(1974 'Reprise') (50:55/11) * = original 'Reprise' singles, not on LP Although their reputation as one of the world's greatest instrumental units never quite translated into mainstream stardom, the Meters turned out a steady stream of...
$19.57
Fire On The Bayou...plus
The Meters: Fire On The Bayou...plus Art-Nr.: CDSC6167

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(1975 'Reprise') (49:27/12) * = long version (original Reprise 45 rpm) By the time they released Fire On the Bayou in 1975, the Meters (now a quintet, with addition of Cyril Neville to the lineup) had graduated from regional cult heroes...
$19.57
The Meters (CD)
The Meters: The Meters (CD) Art-Nr.: CDSC6146

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(1969 'Josie') (43:44/14) Before they released this self-titled first album in 1969 on the Josie label, the four New Orleans musicians who comprised the Meters had spent several years serving as producer Allen Toussaint's house band and...
$19.57
Look-Ka Py Py (CD)
The Meters: Look-Ka Py Py (CD) Art-Nr.: CDSC6147

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(1969 'Josie') (37:34/14) * = zuvor unveröffentlicht / previously unissued. The Meters' prolific run of '70s albums established the incomparable foursome as the premier exponents of New Orleans funk, blending syncopated rhythms with...
$19.57
Struttin (CD)
The Meters: Struttin (CD) Art-Nr.: CDSC6148

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(1970 'Josie') (40:36/14) ART NEVILLE - org/voc #, JOSEPH 'ZIGABOO' MODELISTE - drums, LEO NOCENTELLI - gtr, GEORGE PORTER, JR. - drums. # on 'Struttin' (4 tracks). Drei Alben mit herausragendem Material von den Erfindern des modernen...
$13.80 $19.57