Multi-instrumentalist Betsy Braud is one of those rare Creole delights who surfaces on independent and self-produced releases from time to time. Her first appearance in the electronic ether was on 2000's Do You Want to Be Healed?
, where she demonstrated an intimate familiarity with the music of a wide variety of artists, from Allan Toussaint to Thelonious Monk, from Sidney Bechet to Professor Longhair.
Just What the Doctor Ordered takes a hard right and investigates the music of the Caribbean. Her choice of the vibes as the harmony instrument for this recording bears this out (in spite of the fact that Braud's own under-rated piano shows up generously as well). And she really mixes things up. The opening piece, Earl Klugh's "Dr. Macumba, features Braud's tasty flute playing in a humid island dance. "Sure Had a Positive Influence Rave On features Braud's fine piano playing, highlighting her appreciation of both Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver. "So turns back south and features Braud's Gulf vocals to a very great effect.
While it's stylistically all over the place, Just What the Doctor Ordered is more tightly focused than Braud's 2000 effort. The Caribbean theme threads through the recording and is most effective on "Nene and "St. Thomas (of course!). Betsy Braud serves up another Louisiana treat that cannot help but please listeners.
Personnel: Betsy Braud--Flute, Piano, Soprano Saxophone; Michael Foster--Bass, Tuba; Chris Lee--Drums And Vibes; Gary Roberts--Vibes And Drums.