Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Lee Dorsey: Wheelin' and Dealin': The Definitive Collection [Arista, 1996]
Dorsey's innate musicality runs so deep that, as with prime doowop, it gradually subsumes the popcraft of his work. So Allen Toussaint isn't the only auteur here. Sure you'll still hum "Working in the Coal Mine" and "Get Out of My Life Woman," obscurities like "Can You Hear Me" and "Gotta Find a Job" too. But Dorsey's slippery pitch and lackadaisical phrasing add different-flavor funk and whimsy to concoctions that aim for both. And when the Meters come on, backing the very obscure "Lottie Mo '68" after Dorsey's best-remembered days at Amy are over, the singer again adds his own dynamics--counterpunching like Kid Chocolate, he's as much a percussion instrument as JB, only funnier. Next chapter: the classic '70s Toussaint-Dorsey-Meters collaborations MCA and PolyGram each control half of. Somebody broker a deal. A