New Orleans Sound

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With strong drums, heavy guitar and bass, light piano, light horn sound and a strong vocal lead, this signature New Orleans sound was codified by recording engineer Cosimo Matassa at his J&M Studios and can be heard on recordings by everyone from Fats Domino and Ray Charles to Dr. John and Allen Toussaint.

Professor Longhair, influenced by the barrelhouse piano of Kid Stormy Weather and Sullivan Rock, the crude but gentle vocal styles of Creole folksingers, and dance from Cuba and Trinidad, became a pianist who forged his prototypical rock & roll in the mid-Forties. Dave Bartholomew assembled a band that featured many of the city’s most inventive musicians and combined the loose cohesiveness of the best jazz ensembles with the “secondline” syncopation and raucous bass work of the Mardi Gras parade bands.

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