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March 1999

Leo Nocentelli
Live in San Francisco
DJM

No discussion of New Orleans grooves would be complete without a reference to the true masters. As the guitarist for the legendary Meters, Leo Nocentelli is responsible for some of the wickedest grooves in history: That wah-wah guitar figure used by Public Enemy on its 1987 classic "Time Bomb" is Leo's intro to "Just Kissed My Baby," for example. On Live in San Francisco (DJM DJM CD, 10014, 62:32) he hooks up with a three piece backing band that features another backbreaker, Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste. The results are, as you might expect, gloriously stank. The extended jams-"Fire on the Bayou," "The Hype and the Hoopla," give Nocentelli the space to step out of his rhythm guitar role for some smoldering classic fusion-leaning solos. But then again, Nocentelli's dead on fills and unerringly swinging rhythm figures are solos in and of themselves-check how he chops and sputters through "People Say." And what classic New Orleans set would be complete without versions of "Hey Pocky Way," and "Cissy Strut," two disc ending treats to a stone party of an album?

Originally published in March 1999
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