Wardell is the greatest undescovered arranger, producer, band leader and maestro of New Orleans music. He made people sound good and then they became famous. From the Dixie Cups 'Ico' and 'Going to the Chappel' to King Floyd's 'Groove Me', from Gene Night's 'Mr Big Stuff' and Dorothy Moore's 'Misty Blue' to Robert Parker's 'Bare Footin', he could make a band kick better than anybody. My favorite experience with a big band was Wardell's Royal Dukes. He had a killer show and opened for all the acts coming through town. He played stuff that was different for those days. He directed with his body and he used that in the studio. Things he did made you feel it more than just reading the chart. People like Lionell Hampton, Slide Hampton and Joe Scott all respect him and they've never met him. He just does stuff that's not in a zone where anybody else does, but it works. Wardell always new when things were b.s. He comes from his spirit and not from his ear drums, and when he writes, it's the most natural and easiest things you can imagine. He's original on every level. I think it's important that people know what Wardell did and continues to do. He hits so many nerves with so many people. ----Dr. John----.