With the release of this album in 2001 the good doctor has gone back to his roots, all musical influences mixed up in his own unique style. The front cover for those of you who don't know is a picture of the voodoo character "Baron Samedi" or Doctor Saturday; the use of this cover alone gives the listener an indication of what the contents are going to be like. This album clocks in at just over 68 minutes long and is a mix of styles and superb musicianship.
The drum intro of "You Swore" gets the proceedings to a great start with the keyboards of the good doctor playing the main theme that has more than a hint of Stevie Wonder in it's construction a-la "Superstition" with an answering back chorus sung by Catherine Russell and Nikki Richards (Creole Molls) with percussion fills in-between the spaces created by the vocals and a wonderful sax solo on the fade out of the song.
With the sound of Calypso styled keyboards the track "In the name of you" played against the sound of the saxophone, that the element that makes this track stand out ids the use of the off beat for the percussion and the guitar being played the same way as the drums giving the overall effect of extra percussion.
For the track "Food for Thot" (spot the unique spelling for thought) David Barnard plays a sweat filled bass line which locks in with the trombone sound of Fred Wesley along with the sound of the James Brown influenced choppy guitar sound Renard Poché along with the featured artist on B3 electric piano who is playing along with everyone else a big hint of 8-bar blues.
The song "Holdin' Pattern" uses a funky sounding lead guitar to full effect to the track a backbone for all the other players to play against, such as the doctor doing fills on the keyboards along with the angst sounding fiddle played by Michael Doucet in the middle 8 giving the song a sense of despair.
The sound of the Caribbean is the next influence in this potpourri of styles that Doctor John borrows from for the song "Bruha Beme" the main theme of this track is conveyed on the flute, which is played superbly by Charley Miller along with the relentless sound of the keyboard which along with the constant bass sound and with the backing singers adding an underling punch for the Doctor's singing.
"Imitation of Love" is an old time blues ballad in the style of Ray Charles or T-Bone Walker with the excellent crooning vocals of the good doctor telling the story of two people living and loving together, this track has an excellent jazz sounding guitar in the middle 8, with the sound of the piano carrying the main theme all the way through the song.
With the following song the style of the blues and funk are used to make "Now that you got me" along with the signature vocals of the featured artist and the use of a voice box guitar which is ably played by Renard Doché which gives the track a retro feel. When the listener gets to the title track, which is the longest on the collection at just over 8 minutes "Creole Moon" is in 3 parts with the start, which has a Latin feel about it that is played on the piano and sax which gives the track a grand feel, then in the middle section you feel transported to Trinidad with the horn section giving you the party sound which is played off the piano and drums along with rock steady bass, for the third and final section the pace becomes romantic and the piano now sounds like it's part of a love theme in a film along with the sax which can be heard on the fade out.
For the love song "Georgianna" another style is used this time Cajun along with others influences such as Gospel and French these are blended together to give something that is totally the style of Doctor John that give the perfect backdrop to the soulful vocals, this along side the stunning fiddle playing of Michael Doucet make this song a bit of personal favourite on this album.
With the use of a big drum sound the track "Monkey and Baboon" is announced, along with the horns and electric guitar, which brings home the vocals which along with all the other elements recalls the days of Vaudeville tunes and minstrel shows of old, then at the last section of the track a electric slide guitar is used to bring the song home this is played to great effect by Sonny Landreth.
With the sound of Latin percussion that has a little hint of Salsa played on the piano the song "Take what I can get" begins the song also has a feel of the church about it. The key track for the whole collection "Queen of Cold" which has a very exciting trumpet introduction played by Kevin Louis that fits neatly into the sound of the bass and drums and the vamping style employed by Doctor John playing the piano recall the sound of such legends as Duke Ellington, with other touches such as Cuban and funk, with just a tiny feel of flamenco about the trumpet sound.
The party track on the album is the song called "Litein'" that has bits of Cuban funk about it, check out the bass line by David Bernard along with the Brazilian percussion by Michael Skinkus and Curtis Pierre and the Latin grooves supplied by the horn section which is ably lead by Fred Westley's trombone along with the new Orleans vocals of the Doctor make this a song that makes you want to get up and dance.
The song "One 2 a.m. to many" which Doctor John has chosen to close this album is a more start forward song, which has a feel of the streets of New Orleans with the sound of the piano playing the main theme of the track along with the saxophone, which makes you feel like you walking home from a great all night party.
A perfect end to an excellent album, a treat for fans of well played and executed music.
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With Creole Moon Dr John has gone back to his roots of being the Night Tripper. This album is a cross between the the very funky and spiritual "Anutha Zone" and the excellent Grammy winning "Goin Back to New Orleans". If you are a fan of Dr John then this album will not disappoint, highlights are the excellent "Monkey and Baboon" and the title track "Creole Moon", this is the kind of album you could listen to 100 times and always pick out things that you haven't noticed before - BUY IT!
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Another great album from a very underated musican, in the notes of the cd Dr. John says that this is a very personal album and you can hear that in the lyrics. From the first track You Swore then onto Holdin' Pattern all the way to the final track One 2 A.M. too many this is a great CD. buy it!!!!!
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