THE ALBUM is called "Bluesiana Triangle," but the cast says it all: Dr. John, Art Blakey and David "Fathead" Newman.
Let's face it: About the only way a producer could have botched this session would have been to impose some kind of stylistic restraints on the musicians. Happily, that isn't the case here. The combination of Newman's seasoned and soulful sax and Dr. John's drawling vocals is as natural a pairing as Newman's collaborations with Ray Charles, and to hear Blakey on one of his last recording sessions singing in that hoarse warble of his "For All We Know (We'll Never Meet Again)" is not something any jazz fan is likely to forget.
It's also a treat to witness Blakey in this relaxed New Orleans- flavored session augmenting Dr. John's tricky, Professor Longhair-ish syncopations with slapping rhythms and underpinning Newman's curling solos and fills with similar finesse. And if the individual performances don't win you over, then Dr. John's colorfully imaginative arrangements of "Shoo Fly Don't Bother Me" and "When the Saints Go Marchin' " should do the trick.
DR. JOHN, ART BLAKEY AND DAVID "FATHEAD" NEWMAN -- "Bluesiana Triangle" (Windham Hill Jazz). David "Fathead" Newman appears at Cates through Sunday.