Monday, April 27, 2009
THE NEXT BALL GAME
"No one seems to recall much detail of Inell Young, a New Orleans vocalist whose legacy rests on a handful of late ‘60s 45s and the undying obsession of soul collectors. Even the irrepressible Edwin Bocage (aka Eddie Bo), the New Orleans institution who arranged and composed two of Young’s three records, seems to have been somewhat nonplussed by Young, remembering her in Wax Poetics (2004, issue no. eight) as a troubled creature, and suggesting she succumbed to a drug overdose.
The chaos of Inell Young’s lifestyle was belied, though, by the exceptionally finessed vocal on 1969’s “The Next Ball Game,” the one and only release on the Big-9 record label. Like all of this week’s selections, there’s also a bit of Motown-style emotional pathos around the edges of Young’s voice, even when you can’t quite understand her. Was this Eddie Bo’s bid for a pop record? The sensibility is there, sure, but whatever Bo’s aspirations, there’s no getting around where this record was made: the sun rises in the east, the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico, and so, too, for every New Orleans record will there be syncopated horns and colossal rhythm.
These particular colossal rhythms were in fact the handiwork of James Black, a versatile drummer who played on many of Eddie Bo’s house releases. 'Next Ball Game' exemplifies the way Black could dominate a song; he took the blank spaces normally found between other drummer’s beats and filled them with skittering wallop and his own boundless enthusiasm.
No surfeit of praise is too much for Eddie Bo, either, the composer and creative soul behind The Next Ball Game' and countless New Orleans gems. Eddie Bo is a true hero of the city’s recorded music, his groundbreaking recordings, production and arranging credits, and compositions (not to mention his talents on the keyboard) read like a condensed version of several decades (1950s-‘70s) of post-War New Orleans R&B, soul and funk..." (Courtesy Officenaps.com)