Documentary about noted Zydeco artist Clifton Chenier. Based out of New Orleans, Chenier was the self-crowned "King" of Zydeco (a New Orleans musical hybrid containing elements of blues, ... See full summary »
Felix James Benit,
A look at the spirit of New Orleans. First a funeral: Allen Toussaint explains that you arrive slow and cut up afterwards. Then it's food, with a lesson in eating crayfish at Frankie and ... See full summary »
Blue Lu Barker,
Henry 'Professor Longhair' Byrd,
"Les Blank marries his passion for spicy, down home food and his love for Cajuns and Creoles in this mouth-watering, exploration of the cooking, and other enthusiasms, of French-speaking ... See full summary »
This documentary from Les Blank follows the indomitable Gerald "The Maestro" Gaxiola, who turned to a life of prolific art making after years as an aircraft mechanic, traveling salesman, and body builder.
Peter William Brown,
A portrait of black Creole life in the Louisiana Delta, accompanied by the hot sounds of Zydeco music (a New Orleans musical hybrid containing elements of blues, folk and Tex-Mex music).
Not only does this bring Les Blank back to Louisiana (this time focused on Creole culture rather than Cajun culture), it pairs nicely with his film "Hot Pepper" that came out the same year (1973). If you want to meet the people, watch this one. If you want to fully experience the music, watch the other one. For the whole kit and caboodle, watch both (available now thanks to Criterion).
Does America have a better music historian than Les Blank? Probably not. He went to the source, filmed what he saw, made no commentary or political assumptions. Just music in the raw, bubbling up from the well.
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