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  • Tuesday, April 28, 2009
    Buffalo News: Four Stars for Toussaint's "Not to Be Missed" New Album
    James Michalopoulos

    Allen Toussaint is back home in New Orleans and, as one would expect from the artist featured on this year's official JazzFest poster, playing a number of events tied to the festivities. He joined blues singers Deacon John and Al "Carnival Time" Johnson in a New Orleans All-Star R&B Revue in the festival's Blues Tent on Sunday afternoon. He's due to play some songs from his recent Nonesuch solo album, The Bright Mississippi, this coming Sunday for JazzFest's final afternoon, preceding Neil Young on the main stage. In between, he'll play a set with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the New Orleans House of Blues Thursday night.

    ---

    The Buffalo News gives the album four stars. "You’re going to love this," writes reviewer Jeff Simon. "If you’re an American, it’s practically a felony not to." What's more, the new album from "one of the few living popular musical figures to approach the level of myth," says Simon, is "terrific fun."

    After praising the many stellar musicians on the album, including clarinetist Don Byron, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, guitarist Marc Ribot, bassist David Piltch, percussionist Jay Bellerose, and guest contributors Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman, Simon concludes: "Not to be missed."

    Read the full review at buffalonews.com.

    ---

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette gives the album a straight A. Reviewer Ellis Widner says, "Gifted composer, pianist, producer and singer Allen Toussaint has, at age 71, taken an unexpected but brilliant step on his first solo album in a decade." Widner calls it a "rootsy celebration of the greats who built the New Orleans sound ... Emotional, toetapping and richly spacious, this is one very cool album."

    Read more at nwanews.com.

    ---

    Blurt magazine gives the album an eight, with reviewer Jennifer Kelly crediting the pianist with conjuring "lush, extravagant textures of ragtime piano, his playing now staccato and rhythmic, now flowering into rolls and cascades and fluid runs of notes."

    She also has praise for the members of the band, like Byron's "blowing soft and old-style, in clarinet lines that seem to breathe and sigh" on one song and Payton's, on another, creating a sound "that curls up like late night smoke and melancholy" to Ribot's "coaxing scratchy gypsy rhythms that are, at the same time, full of swing and sadness."

    Kelly draws particular attention to the tracks where all of the musicians shine together, the songs that "swagger with survivor's aplomb, careen with life's giddy celebration, while still allowing an underlying sadness to show through. New Orleans could hardly ask for a better tribute."

    Read the review at blurt-online.com.

    ---

    "This is shaping up to be a very fine year," Allen Toussaint tells the Louisiana Weekly, leading up to his New Orleans performances. Contributing writer Geraldine Wyckoff spoke with the pianist about his long history with the festival and about the making of his new record.

    "What I thought it took to play these songs, that's what I did," Toussaint humbly tells Wyckoff of his performance on The Bright Mississippi. "This didn't take hard work, it just took love, respect and a good attitude."

    Humility aside, there's plenty to marvel at on the new record, from Toussaint's "signature elegance, trills and finesse" to the highly talented musicians who join him. Wyckoff cites, in particular, two performers who are no stranger to New Orleans themselves. "As one might predict," she writes, "the frontline combination of the hugely talented Payton and Byron is genius. That perfect union is realized immediately on the opening 'Egyptian Fantasy' as well as throughout the album."

    Read the complete article at louisianaweekly.com.

    ---

    Toussaint was the featured artist this past Saturday on WFMU's Mike Shelley show, which included three hours of music written, performed, or produced by Allen, as well as an interview with the man himself. You can listen to the complete show online at wfmu.org.

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Buffalo News: Four Stars for Toussaint's "Not to Be Missed" New Album

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nonesuch's picture
on April 28, 2009 - 4:20pm
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Publish date: 
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - 16:00
Excerpt: 

Allen Toussaint is back home in New Orleans and, as one would expect from the artist featured on the official JazzFest poster, playing a number of festival events, following the release of his new album, The Bright Mississippi. "You’re going to love this," says the Buffalo News of the new album in its four-star review. "Not to be missed." The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette gives the album an A, exclaiming, "Emotional, toetapping and richly spacious, this is one very cool album." Blurt says, "New Orleans could hardly ask for a better tribute."

Copy: 

Allen Toussaint is back home in New Orleans and, as one would expect from the artist featured on this year's official JazzFest poster, playing a number of events tied to the festivities. He joined blues singers Deacon John and Al "Carnival Time" Johnson in a New Orleans All-Star R&B Revue in the festival's Blues Tent on Sunday afternoon. He's due to play some songs from his recent Nonesuch solo album, The Bright Mississippi, this coming Sunday for JazzFest's final afternoon, preceding Neil Young on the main stage. In between, he'll play a set with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the New Orleans House of Blues Thursday night.

---

The Buffalo News gives the album four stars. "You’re going to love this," writes reviewer Jeff Simon. "If you’re an American, it’s practically a felony not to." What's more, the new album from "one of the few living popular musical figures to approach the level of myth," says Simon, is "terrific fun."

After praising the many stellar musicians on the album, including clarinetist Don Byron, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, guitarist Marc Ribot, bassist David Piltch, percussionist Jay Bellerose, and guest contributors Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman, Simon concludes: "Not to be missed."

Read the full review at buffalonews.com.

---

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette gives the album a straight A. Reviewer Ellis Widner says, "Gifted composer, pianist, producer and singer Allen Toussaint has, at age 71, taken an unexpected but brilliant step on his first solo album in a decade." Widner calls it a "rootsy celebration of the greats who built the New Orleans sound ... Emotional, toetapping and richly spacious, this is one very cool album."

Read more at nwanews.com.

---

Blurt magazine gives the album an eight, with reviewer Jennifer Kelly crediting the pianist with conjuring "lush, extravagant textures of ragtime piano, his playing now staccato and rhythmic, now flowering into rolls and cascades and fluid runs of notes."

She also has praise for the members of the band, like Byron's "blowing soft and old-style, in clarinet lines that seem to breathe and sigh" on one song and Payton's, on another, creating a sound "that curls up like late night smoke and melancholy" to Ribot's "coaxing scratchy gypsy rhythms that are, at the same time, full of swing and sadness."

Kelly draws particular attention to the tracks where all of the musicians shine together, the songs that "swagger with survivor's aplomb, careen with life's giddy celebration, while still allowing an underlying sadness to show through. New Orleans could hardly ask for a better tribute."

Read the review at blurt-online.com.

---

"This is shaping up to be a very fine year," Allen Toussaint tells the Louisiana Weekly, leading up to his New Orleans performances. Contributing writer Geraldine Wyckoff spoke with the pianist about his long history with the festival and about the making of his new record.

"What I thought it took to play these songs, that's what I did," Toussaint humbly tells Wyckoff of his performance on The Bright Mississippi. "This didn't take hard work, it just took love, respect and a good attitude."

Humility aside, there's plenty to marvel at on the new record, from Toussaint's "signature elegance, trills and finesse" to the highly talented musicians who join him. Wyckoff cites, in particular, two performers who are no stranger to New Orleans themselves. "As one might predict," she writes, "the frontline combination of the hugely talented Payton and Byron is genius. That perfect union is realized immediately on the opening 'Egyptian Fantasy' as well as throughout the album."

Read the complete article at louisianaweekly.com.

---

Toussaint was the featured artist this past Saturday on WFMU's Mike Shelley show, which included three hours of music written, performed, or produced by Allen, as well as an interview with the man himself. You can listen to the complete show online at wfmu.org.

featuredimage: 
Allen Toussaint JazzFest 2009 Poster, by James Michalopoulos

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