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Rock & Roll Rewind: Our Culture Maven wants to "Take You to the River: New Orleans."

The poster for "Take Me to the River: New Orleans."
360 Distribution, Inc.

No city in America is more important to the origin and evolution of American popular music than New Orleans.

Jazz was invented there in the brothels of Storyville.

Much of the iconic Rock & Roll and Rhythm & Blues of the 20th Century came from there.

There’s the mish mash of sounds evolving from the area’s Spanish and French Creole histories.

Eclectic music still informs the daily life of America’s most unique burg.

It is town where playing in the school band is as cool as playing football or being a cheerleader. Perhaps more so.

The documentary “Take Me to the River: New Orleans” is the best take ever on how that music is formulated, where it came from, how it is created in the studio.

The movie, available to stream at Amazon Prime and Apple TV, avoids the pitfalls of most of this kind of examination. This is about the music, and how it is created. Period.

There are mix and match sessions that would only come about in the Crescent City.

Like current New Orleans resident Ani DiFranco, fully immersed in the area’s uniqueness, doing a Cajun rave up with blues master Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Lost Bayou Ramblers.

Hip Hop stars playing with high school horn-playing up and comers.

It includes other amazing studio performances crafted just for the film.

Irma Thomas dueting with her protegé Ledisi on one of Ms. Irma’s doo wop classics.

Four current day drummer greats talking their craft and demonstrating technique.

And, sigh, there is the last performance ever by Cyril, Aaron, Art and Charles — the Brothers Neville — before the latter two passed away.

“Take Me To The River: New Orleans” is as well executed a music documentary as one can hope for, a must see for music aficionados.

(Note: Do not confuse with first film in the documentary series about Memphis music)

Observer of the Passing Scene: Pop Culture and Sports. Writer. Film Critic. Curmudgeon. Rock & Roll and Louisville Cardinal fan.

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