Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

New Orleans Mambo: Cuba to Nola [Putumayo World Music, 2020]
As my wife has noticed at breakfast, New Orleans rock and rollers Dr. John and the Neville Brothers elevate the mood without picking up the tempo every time "Mos' Scocious" and "Yellow Moon" surface at tracks two and eight. But Putumayo's virtual-tourist-coddling trick of alternating Crescent City trad with locals who cultivate the kind of Latin grooves that helped germinate the second-line bounce to begin with is both educational and entertaining. Not only does it generate a danceable flow, it finds a use for long-running also-rans like Zazou City and the Iguanas. Handsomely documented and packaged, too. A-