Initially created to be the house band for Allen Toussaint and Marshall Sehorn's Sansu Enterprises, the Meters started out backing such famous names as Lee Dorsey and Betty Harris. Led by organist Art Neville, the quartet was rounded out by jazz-influenced guitarist Leo Nocentelli, along with the bubbling rhythm section of bassist George Porter, Jr. and drummer Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste. Booker T. & the M.G.'s may have been the most obvious influence, but the Meters differentiated themselves by injecting a healthy dose of New Orleans funk into their sound. Led by Neville's fat-sounding organ, the Meters quickly scored hits with the sinewy "Cissy Strut" and the more languid "Sophisticated Cissy." Simplicity is the hallmark of this impressive debut and nuance is paramount, whether it's Nocentelli's lazy riffs echoing throughout "Ease Back" or Modeliste unobtrusively riding his hi-hat along the perimeter of the Memphis-fried "6V6 La." Not unlike the M.G.'s, the Meters were masters of interpretation -- the band here moves easily from a chugging reading of Sly Stone's "Sing a Simple Song," to kicking back on a smoky version of the Classics IV's "Stormy." ~ Rovi Staff
Q (2/00, p.101) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...hard-to-find, MGs-inspired instrumental albums....magical skeletons of jigsaw funk...[a] must-have..."
Dirty Linen (6-7/00, pp.87-8) - "...Displays all of the swagger and funk of a sweltering New Orleans summer night romp....the premier instrumental band of swamp-rock and soul....Chunky African rhythms, slow-cooked shuffles, and some backbeat boss basslines..."
Living Blues (5-6/01, pp.91-4) - "...Excellent....The music is exceptional, a potent mixture of clipped jerk rhythms and simple laid-back funk with syncopated accents....a virtual blueprint for '70s street funk..."