366

Allen Toussaint and Friends: A New Orleans Christmas

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
Allen Toussaint appears on piano and / or keyboards on ten of these thirteen tracks, which are a good representative sampler of the current New Orleans sound. If that doesn't mean anything to you, think of "The Man who Sang with Linda Ronstadt" a few years back. He, of course, doesn't appear here, but the folks who do have the same sound: Heavy danceable grooves with backing vocals behind soulful melisma-laden leads. Raymond Myles' funky "We Three Kings" is a standout. Myles sounds a little like Sly Stone, and turns in an impressive performance here on all the instruments, even egging himself on to get down on piano. On "O Holy Night" Myles gets some help from two guys named Johnny Walker, but he turns in another memorable track.

If you're looking for blues, you'll be hard-put to find a tougher blues groove than Grace Darling's "Merry Christmas, Baby." Is her tenor sax better than her singing? They're both way up there, sports fans. The ever-delightful New Birth Brass Band also stands out on "Santa's Second Line" and "Jingle Bells."

Worthy of note also is the ever-ready playing of Toussaint. His florid ragtime-flavored solo on "Winter Wonderland" shows the roots of the grooves on the other tracks. So even though it feels a bit strange to be listening to Christmas music in the middle of July, this disc will be of interest year-round to fans of Gospel-ly New Orleans funk. As a sampler it works wonderfully.

Tracks and personnel:Christmas This Year (Larry Hamilton); We Three Kings (Raymond Myles); New Year's Resolution (Larry Hamilton and Tricia Boutté); Santa's Second Line (New Birth Brass Band); Silent Night, Holy Night (Allen Toussaint); Christmas Comes But Once a Year (Wallace Johnson); Christmas in New Orleans (James Andrews); Jingle Bells (New Birth Brass Band); O Holy Night (Raymond Myles); The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) (Wallace Johnson); Winter Wonderland (Allen Toussaint); Do You Hear What I Hear? (Tricia Boutté); Merry Christmas, Baby (Grace Darling).


Title: A New Orleans Christmas | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: NYNO


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24 CD/LP/Track Review The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Aleka CD/LP/Track Review Aleka
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Alto Gusto CD/LP/Track Review Alto Gusto
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Flow CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 20, 2017
Read "Signs" CD/LP/Track Review Signs
by Doug Collette
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'" CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Planetary Prince" CD/LP/Track Review Planetary Prince
by Christopher Hoard
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "San José Suite" CD/LP/Track Review San José Suite
by Nigel Campbell
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor