The Neville Brothers - "Nevillization" - Black Top - 1984
Standing under the blasting Louisiana sun at the closing of Jazz Fest with the Neville Brothers is a spiritual experience, according to many. I might not go that far, though I’ve closed 11 years at that stage and I believe the 2008 “return home” might be singly one of the greatest moments ever to musically grace the stages at the Fair Grounds, and that’s full well knowing the acts that have played there for decades.
Within a whisper of suggesting “Yellow Moon” or even “Fiyo on the Bayou” – both incredible records in their own right -- before I met this recording. (I openly admit I’m an easy sucker for live recordings, think Allman Brothers “Live at the Fillmore East”.)
The recording has it all: The great harmonizing that would become the band’s signature, deep soul, great ballads, solid numbers and that the unique funky sound that these four brothers create when brought together and make them an essential part of city’s musical DNA, all of this done in New Orleans’ holiest of live music spots. This recording has the sound of a band ready to take off, headed for the big time, which they were.
Get in your time machine. It’s 1982, the city is in the midst of a musical renaissance, the Neville Brothers are barely five years old, in their prime, and for two September nights the band created magic at Tipitina’s – a few blocks of Art’s house on Valence Street.