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Allen Toussaint: American Tunes

Read "American Tunes" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

The mighty river of American songs flows in many different directions: blues, gospel, jazz and funk are part of the muddy water that makes up the music. Pianist, composer, arranger and record producer, Allen Toussaint, who sadly passed away in 2015, was an important part of the ongoing legacy of American music. He was one of the architects of New Orleans R & B, but his musical horizon was much broader than just a single genre. More ...

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Allen Toussaint: American Tunes

Read "American Tunes" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

When it comes to the jny: New Orleans sound and its purveyors, drummers may be the most integral, but the most celebrated are perhaps the pianists. Longhair, Booker, Rebbenack, Cleary, and even Fats Domino are all acknowledged to be in that pantheon. And certainly the name Toussaint has long been counted among them as well but, outside of New Orleans, more so by those in the know than the general public. This is partly because throughout his career, Toussaint's preferred ...

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Allen Toussaint: The Bright Mississippi

Read "The Bright Mississippi" reviewed by Joel Roberts

Pianist, writer, producer and arranger Allen Toussaint can justifiably be called a living legend. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he helped define the New Orleans R&B sound of the '60s and '70s through his work with Lee Dorsey, Irma Thomas, The Meters and Dr. John, then went on to collaborate with rock giants like The Band, Paul Simon and Little Feat. He also produced the funk classic “Lady Marmalade" for LaBelle and wrote “Southern Nights," ...

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Allen Toussaint: The Bright Mississippi

Read "The Bright Mississippi" reviewed by Mike Perciaccante

When asked about Allen Toussaint, Van Dyke Parks once said, “he's the greatest pianist alive, only no one knows it... including him." High praise from one legend to another. With The Bright Mississippi, Toussaint has finally released a jazz-oriented album. Though jazz-influences can be found on many of his rock/funk sides as well as in many of the songs that he has written (including “Whipped Cream," which was morphed into the theme from The Dating Game), arranged and produced, this ...

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Allen Toussaint and Preservation Hall Jazz Orchestra in London

Read "Allen Toussaint and Preservation Hall Jazz Orchestra in London" reviewed by John Eyles

Allen Toussaint and Preservation Hall Jazz Orchestra The Barbican London, England June 4th, 2007

They say it is an ill wind that blows no-one any good. Well, Hurricane Katrina was certainly one of the illest winds ever to blow through New Orleans, leaving the city ruined and many thousands homeless. Allen Toussaint is one of those homeless, and is currently residing in New York City while his house is rebuilt. As for the ...

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Allen Toussaint, et al. / Amadee Castenell (NYNO Records: Allen Toussaint and Various Artists

Read "Allen Toussaint and Various Artists" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Bon Ton NYNO. Contemporary Louisiana music is alive and well and being projected by the New York-based label NYNO Records. NYNO was founded in 1995, the brainchild of radio syndicator Josh Feigenbaum and pianist, composer, arranger, producer par excellence Allen Toussaint. The stated goal of the label is... “to record and distribute the roots and blues-oriented music of New Orleans...painting a musical portrait of the city.” Considered here are the sampler A Taste of New Orleans and the specific artist ...

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Allen Toussaint & Friends: A New Orleans Christmas

Read "A New Orleans Christmas" reviewed by Jim Santella

The various artists that appear on this 1997 Christmas album make it a cross-genre collection of R&B, C&W, pop/rock, blues, and jazz items suitable for infusing that annual Christmas spirit. Lead vocalists for the lyric-oriented Yuletide favorites include Raymond Myles, Larry Hamilton, Tricia Boutte, Grace Darling, Wallace Johnson, and James Andrews.

With Allen Toussaint’s spirited piano accompaniment and a Satchmo-inspired trumpet introduction, James Andrews sings “Christmas in New Orleans." Andrews’ bright trumpet melodies and lively vocalizing warm the room, as ...

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Allen Toussaint: Connected

Read "Connected" reviewed by Robert Spencer

Allen Toussaint is back. Let the world know. Connected is his first full-length national release in nearly twenty years, and it is a full resume of the New Orleans institution's many talents. His funky R&B piano is the centerpiece of this disc, which features a host of New Orleans luminaries including Dave Bartholomew on trumpet, Leo Nocentelli on guitar, Russell Batiste on drums, and Amadee Castenell on tenor. In addition to these guest appearances, the tracks feature a cast of ...

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Allen Toussaint and Friends: A New Orleans Christmas

Read "A New Orleans Christmas" reviewed by Robert Spencer

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 ...

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Allen Toussaint: Connected

Read "Connected" reviewed by Jim Santella

With roots in both Gospel and Ragtime, New Orleans singer-pianist Allen Toussaint has assembled an enjoyable session that appeals to a broad audience. From an outsider's point-of-view, Toussaint's ensemble shares that “Crescent City mystique" espoused by Dr. John, The Neville Brothers, The Dirty Dozen & New Birth Brass Bands, and others. While this session combines folk, funk, calypso and rock into one entity, Toussaint's compositions each contain some amount of blues feeling and imagery.

Updating blues double-entendre, Toussaint begins “Computer ...

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Allen Toussaint: Connected

Read "Connected" reviewed by Douglas Payne

Connected offers a generous program (62 minutes) of some of the best, most soulful pop that's been heard in the last twenty years. Such style must seem old-fashioned now. No samples, no contrived rhythms, no phony raps and hardly any concessions to contemporary popular music. Stuff this good hasn't been heard since the late 70s when you were sure to hear great Toussaint tunes like Labelle's “Lady Marmalade" (1975) or Glen Cambell's “Southern Nights" (1977) on the radio.

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