Harold Battiste, who passed last week at the age of 83, was a true New Orleanian: he grew up in the Magnolia Projects, was educated at Dillard, and founded the first record label, All For One (A.K.A. AFO Records) owned by African American musicians. After decades in Los Angeles, he spent many years on Jazz Studies faculty at the University of New Orleans. His 2010 autobiography Unfinished Blues: Memories of a New Orleans Music Man is required reading for any student of music history.
A composer, teacher, and mentor, Battiste was perhaps best known as a producer and arranger. The tracks below are just small sampling of his work in the studio. For a complete list, see Unfinished Blues, pages 177-79.
Eddie Bo, "Got To Know"
Cher, "All I really Want to Do"
Sam Cooke, "You Send Me"
Lee Dorsey, "Ya Ya"
Dr. John, "I Walk On Guilded Splinters"
Barbara George, "I Know"
Joe Jones, "You Talk Too Much"
King Floyd, "Times Have Changed"
Ellis Marsalis, "Monkey Puzzle"
Art Neville, "What's Going On"
Sonny & Cher, "I Got You Babe"
Willie Tee, "Always Accused"
Larry Williams, "Bad Boy"