"Anutha Zone" is a sharp turn away from the extensive catalog of blues and jazz discs Dr. John has released to critical acclaim but only modest commercial success. The good doctor has assembled a quirky cast of guest musicians here, including space-rockers Spiritualized on "Hello God," a questioning monologue delivered over simmering percussion, gospel-flavored piano, wah-wah guitar and soulful background vocals.
Former Jam and Style Council leader Paul Weller appears on the slow jam "I Don't Wanna Know About Evil," and Clive Deamer of Portishead hooks up with members of indie-rockers Supergrass on the rubbery Meters-like riff, "Voices in My Head." Deamer is joined by Martin Duffy of Primal Scream on "Sweet Home New Orleans," a bracing toast to Professor Longhair, brass bands and Fats Domino -- complete with John's evocative litany of Crescent City images. That tune, plus the greasy, grooving title track; the chunky, Mediterranean-tinged "The Olive Tree," and practically everything else here might make listeners swear they'll never skip another Jazz Fest.