Dr. John - Gris-Gris
Dr. John - Gris-Gris
Dr. John - Gris-Gris
Dr. John - Gris-Gris

Dr. John - Gris-Gris

badge
badge
€35,00
Price valid within European Union only. VAT included, shipping cost on top below 99€ purchase

Dr. John (voc, keyb, perc), Harold Battiste (b, cl, perc, arr); Plas Johnson (sax); Lonnie Boulden (fl); Steve Mann (g, bjo); Richard Washington (perc); Bob West (b); John Boudreaux (dr); Mo "Dido" Pedido (cga)

Written by Dr. John Creaux (A1, A2, A3, A4, B2, B3), Harold Battiste (A2, B1), Jessie Hill (A3)

 

1 LP, standard sleeve

Original analog Master tape : YES

Heavy Press : 180g

Record color : black

Speed : 33 RPM

Size : 12'’

Stereo

Studio

Record Press : Pallas

Label : Speakers Corner

Original Label : Atco

Recording: 1967 at Gold Star Studios, Los Angeles

Production: Harold Battiste

Originally released in 1968

Reissued in 2018

 

Tracks :

Side A : 

  1. Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya
  2. Danse Kalinda Ba Doom
  3. Mama Roux
  4. Danse Fambeaux

Side B :

  1. Croker Courtbullion
  2. Jump Sturdy
  3. I Walk On Guilded Splinters

 

Awards:

Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of all Time - Ranked No. 143

1000 Recordings you must hear before you die - Ranked 122

 

Reviews

« Dr. John's Gris-Gris is among the most enduring recordings of the psychedelic era; it sounds as mysterious and spooky in the 21st century as it did in 1968. It is the album where Mac Rebennack established a stage identity that has served him well. A respected studio ace in his native New Orleans, Rebennack was scuffling in L.A. Gris-Gris was his concept, an album that wove various threads of New Orleans music together behind the character of "Dr. John," a real voodoo root doctor from the 19th century. Harold Batiste, another ex-pat New Orleanian and respected arranger in Hollywood, scored him some free studio time left over from a Sonny & Cher session. They assembled a crack band of NOLA exiles and session players including saxophonist Plas Johnson, singers Jessie Hill and Shirley Goodman, and guitarist/mandolinist Richard "Didimus" Washington. Almost everyone played percussion. Gris-Gris sounds like a post-midnight ceremony recorded in the bayou swamp instead of L.A.'s Gold Star Studio where Phil Spector cut hits. The atmosphere is thick, smoky, serpentine, foreboding. Rebennack inhabits his character fully, delivering Creole French and slang English effortlessly in the grain of his half-spoken, half-sung voice. He is high priest and trickster, capable of blessing, cursing, and conning. On the opening incantation "Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya," Dr. John introduces himself as the "night tripper" and boasts of his medicinal abilities accompanied by wafting reverbed mandolins, hand drums, a bubbling bassline, blues harmonica, skeletal electric guitar, and a swaying backing chorus that blurs the line between gospel and soul. On "Danse Kalinda Boom," a calliope-sounding organ, Middle Eastern flute, Spanish-tinged guitars, bells, claves, congas, and drums fuel a wordless chorus in four-part chant harmony as a drum orgy evokes ceremonial rites. The sound of NOLA R&B comes to the fore in the killer soul groove of the breezy "Mama Roux." "Croker Courtboullion" is an exercise in vanguard jazz. Spectral voices, electric guitars, animal cries, flute, and moody saxophone solos and percussion drift in and out of the spacy mix. The set's masterpiece is saved for last, the nearly nearly eight-minute trance vamp in "I Walk on Gilded Splinters" (covered by everyone from Humble Pie, Cher, and Johnny Jenkins to Paul Weller and Papa Mali). Dr. John is brazen about the power of his spells in a slippery, evil-sounding boast. Congas, tom-toms, snaky guitar, and harmonica underscore his juju, while a backing chorus affirms his power like mambo priestesses in unison. A ghostly baritone saxophone wafts through the turnarounds. Droning blues, steamy funk, and loopy R&B are inseparably entwined in its groove. Remarkably, though rightfully considered a psychedelic masterpiece, there is little rock music on Gris-Gris. Its real achievement -- besides being a classic collection of startlingly deep tunes -- is that it brought New Orleans' cultural iconographies and musical traits to the attention of an emergent rock audience. » AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek

His grandmother is purported to have transported objects using her spiritual powers and it is said that she sometimes floated through the room. Her grandson Malcolm Rebenneck was fully aware of his unique features when he appeared under the name of Dr. John, a voodoo healer in the 19th century, and was the first person to transcend from pitch-black spheres to psychedelic music as its high priest, so to speak.

In the seven magical musical numbers of "Gris-gris", the root doctor conjures up a potent mixture of creole melodies, primeval heathen sounds, a pinch of mardi-gras and New Orleans jazz and even undreamt-of sounds. "Gumbo Ya Ya", a dragging procession with archaic sing-song, shows that suggestive Afro sounds are what rule in this album. And to play with them, to soften them here and there, or to enhance them with dance-like expression and voices from afar ("Danse Fambeaux") is all part of the programme in this collection of artistic treasures. In between raspy sounds there are flattering, intimate tones such as the springy, gentle and forward-looking "Croker Courtbullion".

The equation Witchcraft = Masterwork certainly applies to this unrivalled album, which is listed at No. 143 in the 500 Greatest Albums of all Time by the magazine Rolling Stone.

Ratings :

AllMusic : 5 / 5 , Discogs : 4,47 / 5  , Rate Your Music : 3,81 / 5

Recently viewed