trageser.com
Music Review

Home
Computers
Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Interviews
Links
Favorite quotations
Contact Me



A body of work to celebrate

Fess
Fess
By Professor Longhair

Rhino Records: 1993

Buy it on CD now from Amazon.com
Buy it now


This review first appeared in the February 11, 1994 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

For many blues lovers, Henry Roeland Byrd, aka Professor Longhair – or, more affectionately, 'Fess – embodied the musical spirit of New Orleans. With his rollicking barrelhouse approach to piano, distinctively syncopated rhythms and trademark high-pitched singing voice, Byrd was a true original.

Despite never having had a record label to call home for any length of time, and despite not finding real fame until late in life, Longhair nevertheless left behind a stellar body of work.

This new, two-CD set is of unusually consistent quality, in large part due to the outstanding caliber of Longhair albums issued by Alligator, Rounder, Windham and Atlantic – all of which are represented here. This collection traces his career from the late '40s up through his death in 1980. The gap in the '60s? No label was interested in Longhair then, and he had taken work as a school janitor.