Live In New Orleans is the first live album by Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and was recorded in the city in November 1980. It also included four new studio recorded songs.
Frankie Beverly is the smooth voiced leader and songwriter of the band.
I have mixed feelings about this “live” album.
Maze Live In New Orleans – overall rating 25/30
Average Amazon Customer Rating – 4.4 Stars
Set List – 9/10
Unlike many live albums that have been extended when reissued, Live In New Orleans was cut down from 13 to 10 tracks when it moved to CD.The tracks that were taken away were the Introduction, You and Happy Feelings.
- Changing Times 5:11 (originally on the album Joy and Pain)
- Joy And Pain 9:45 (Joy and Pain)
- Southern Girl 6:22 (Joy and Pain)
- Look At California 11:00 (on the debut album Maze featuring Frankie Beverly)
- Feel That You’re Feelin’ 9:48 (Inspiration)
- The Look In Your Eyes 7:22 (Joy and Pain)
- Running Away 5:56 (studio)
- Before I Let Go 5:07 (studio)
- We Need Love To Live 4:50 (studio)
- Reason 5:04 (studio)
Four of the six tracks come from their 1980 album Joy and Pain.
Performance – 9/10
The six live tracks are terrific. The four from the studio are excellent as well making Live In New Orleans a great soulful funk (or funky soul) album to listen to. There is so much to enjoy when it’s playing.
Frankie Beverly has a great voice. Much more Marvin Gaye than Wilson Pickett.
Instrumentally the band are tight and there are frequent instrumental breaks where Maze show how they can get into the groove.
In my opinion Maze are another of those bands that benefit from being recorded live because the studio recordings get too smooth. They lose the soul and passion you want to hear.
The transition isn’t too bad on this album although I’d have preferred the new songs to be recorded in concert.
Here is a video of Maze performing Feel That You’re Feeling live in 1980.
And Before I Let Go also from 1980.
Atmosphere & Authenticity – 7/10
My rating system is going to give me problems here.
I don’t like the live plus studio combination.There isn’t a sudden jolt in sound but you’ll notice the lack of the live spark.
I hate the fact that the concert introduction and two live songs have been sacrificed to fit the album on a single CD. However if I think back to the original double album, I’d rather have three LP sides of Maze live than for the record to have been released as a single live album.
Overall Rating For Maze Live In New Orleans – 25/30
Make no mistake, this is a great album to listen to and if you enjoy seventies style soul and funk, I recommend it highly.
But is it a great live album?
Four of the ten tracks are studio recordings and instead of being extended on reissue as you’d hope, the album has been butchered.
In terms of listening please, I could make an argument for ranking it higher than 25/30. The way Frankie Beverly and the record company have treated this album and the Maze fans, means there are no bonus points.
Live In New Orleans could have been exceptional and a must buy for soul and funk fans.
Instead it’s a very good nice to have.
This should change if the album is properly reissued. Perhaps there are even some extra tracks.
What Others Say About Live In New Orleans
Again it’s missing from the big lists of greatest live albums. I’m surprised but perhaps the studio tracks are a problem.
Reviews are very positive on Amazon.com for the music but critical about the way it has been cut down.
Buying Live In New Orleans
These links will help you get to the albums quickly and easily but I recommend that you still search for the best deal.
What Do You Think?
Do you think this live album is better than the follow up, Maze Live In Los Angeles?
What do you like about it?
How Does This Rate As One Of The Best Live Albums?
Maze sit between soul and funk so I have included this album in both the funk and soul best album polls.
Please vote and see what the other readers think.
You can see the complete list of readers polls at Live Album Polls