Remembering Cosimo Matassa

Cos&Family

I was saddened to hear that one of my New Orleans musical heroes, the great Rock + Roll Hall of Fame engineer from J&M Recording Studio, Cosimo Matassa, passed last month at age 88. His list of accomplishments and liaisons (who included Fats Domino, Little Richard, Professor Longhair, Aaron Neville, Dr. John and many more) is way too lengthy for me to delve into here, so click on this link to read about an incredible career >>> http://www.nola.com/music/index.ssf/2014/09/cosimo_matassa_new_orleans_rec.html

What made me even sadder, however, was the realizing that I’d had many an opportunity to go meet The Great Man during the past 20 years and didn’t realize it. It turns out that he used to help his sons operate a grocery/deli in the French Quarter called Matassa’s Market (how appropriate) that I could have run by on many occasions, had I realized just who was probably inside, helping with the books — and apparently quite happy to talk with visiting fans and admirers while doing so.

Tell me that isn’t enough to make a music lover beat his noggin on the wall. Oh, well.

Maybe it’s a good thing that I waited to post anything after the passing of “Cos,” as he was called, because I just came across another blog post, this one from great New Orleans’ public radio station, WWOZ, on Facebook. Herein is a way cool update >>> http://www.wwoz.org/blog/275151

What the WWOZ blog includes is a link to a web site known as The Cosimo Code (www.cosimocode), which not only offers his detailed recording history, but was “developed by Matassa. In 1960, he began assigning hyphenated matrix numbers to the 45s, EPs and LPs he mastered at his studio on Governor Nicholls (the street his studio was then located on in New Orleans’ French Quarter).” The site’s stated mission is to “attempt to log, by year, every known recording emblazoned with this code.” >>> http://cosimocode.com/index2.html

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