Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Robert Meets Otis, and Sharon Jones News

Robert Parker - Mr. Pitiful

Robert Parker's good-timing dance records for NOLA are long-time favorites of mine. Although Parker was a fairly limited vocalist, and his fine saxophone playing is not featured on the NOLA material, there's just something about "Barefootin'," "The Scratch," and others that make me want to smile and "get down" when I hear them. I'm by no means an expert about Parker's career, so I'll focus your attention to this great Funky16Corners profile for more information. Today's selection was released on Parker's Barefootin' LP. Like most R&B LPs of the time, Parker threw in some covers to fill out the album. His version of "In the Midnight Hour" is remarkable in that it removes the Stax backbeat and replaces it with a bouncy New Orleans beat. His version of "Mr. Pitiful," featured today, is not as impressive, although that beat is there. Wardell Quezerque's arrangement dispenses with the tune's signature horn charts and Parker brings less grit to the Cropper-Redding tune. Although it is not as strong as "Midnight Hour," that happy beat is still there, and so it's quite enjoyable.

On a totally unrelated tip, as I mentioned in early September, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings have a new album, 100 Days, 100 Nights. The album's release date is today - make sure to get your copy. From the funk-turns-into-R&B title cut to the after-hours R&B of "Let Them Knock" to the reggae-bent "When The Other Foot Drops, Uncle" to the gospel funk of "Answer Me," Sharon and the band have really "done the do" with this one. Get yours today! Also check out this MTV News segment featuring Sharon and the band and, from Entertainment Weekly, this bonus track.

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