LEO NOCENTELLI - ANOTHER SIDE VINYL (LTD. ED. BRIGHT YELLOW + BOOKLET)
LIMITED EDITION BRIGHT YELLOW VINYL + BOOKLET
Release Date: 19th November 2021
"“Things happen for a reason, man.” – Leo Nocentelli
At just fourteen, Leo Nocentelli was backing up Otis Redding. Soon after, he was playing on hits for Lee Dorsey, The Supremes, and The Temptations. As an original member of The Meters, Leo wrote instant classics “Cissy Strut” and “Hey Pocky A–Way,” but his greatest moment on record may be totally unknown, until now...
Recorded at Cosimo Matassa’s Jazz City Studio in New Orleans in the early ‘70s and then lost to the ages, Another Side is one of Leo Nocentelli’s most personal and definitive moments ever cut to tape. A mixture of funky folk and rootsy, raw emotion (think Bill Withers and James Taylor meeting Allen Toussaint at Link Wray’s Three Track Shack), this previously unheard album shines like the sun on a spring day on the New Orleans fairgrounds. Backing Nocentelli is an all-star line-up of New Orleans royalty, including Allen Toussaint (piano), James Black (drums), and both George Porter Jr. (bass) and Zigaboo Modeliste (drums) of The Meters. Deeply introspective, the album features nine original songs by Nocentelli, plus a soulful rendition of Elton John’s “Your Song.” Half a century later, these recordings sound just as fresh and engaging as the day they were recorded.
What makes Another Side even more extraordinary, however, is the fact that the album—which could have easily become a classic in the ‘70s singer-songwriter canon—sat untouched for decades; miraculously surviving the devastating blow of Hurricane Katrina, only to be found 2,000 miles away at a Southern California swap meet in 2018 by record collector Mike Nishita
While Nocentelli was embedded in New Orleans’ R&B scene, he was also deeply inspired by the late 1960’s and early 1970’s rising singer-songwriters, and soon found himself exploring sounds that were miles away from his band’s hard-edged funk riffs. Whenever he had downtime from session work and shows, Nocentelli spent much of 1971 recording his newly-found, reflective, diaristic songs at Matassa’s Jazz City studio. Backed by longtime Meters bandmate George Porter Jr. on bass, Nocentelli crafted the lineups for his sessions to match the tone of the material. When he needed a pianist, he’d call Toussaint. For percussion on the slower songs, he used drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, but many of the tracks featured James Black—a frequent collaborator of Toussaint’s and a member of Ellis Marsalis’ jazz group, whom Nocentelli recalls as an “unbelievable” musician. "