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The four albums Dr. John recorded for Parlophone leading up to this compilation were very distinct projects. The first, 1998's Anutha Zone, functioned as the New Orleans legend's return to trans-Atlantic critical respectability, thanks to a parade of British admirers (Paul Weller, J Spaceman of Spiritualized, and Gaz Coombes of Supergrass among others). One year later, he recorded a deliciously dripping tribute to Duke Ellington titled Duke Elegant, and he followed after the end of the millennium with an old-fashioned New Orleans R&B records (2001's Creole Moon) and a heavily collaborational record (N'Awlinz: Dis Dat or d'udda) including B.B. King, Randy Newman, and Willie Nelson. Best of the Parlophone Years recycles 15 tracks from those sessions and adds a pair of bonus tracks: the unreleased "Careless Love" featuring Willie Tee (circa N'Awlinz: Dis Dat or d'udda) and "Look Out" (added to a Japanese version of Anutha Zone). Grabbing tracks from such a tight time frame produces a very unified compilation, although Dr. John's syrupy growl and laid-back swing aren't flattered by the first half of this compilation, where the tempos rarely vary.

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