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  • Monday, May 4, 2009
    NPR: Allen Toussaint "Sounds As Eternal As New Orleans" on "The Bright Mississippi"
    Michael Wilson

    Allen Toussaint helped close the 40th anniversary New Orleans JazzFest "on an upbeat note" from the festival's main stage yesterday, says USA Today's Jerry Shriver. The New York Times's Jon Pareles describes the set as "philosophizing and two-fisted barrelhouse piano from the prolific New Orleans songwriter Allen Toussaint."

    And speaking of the Crescent City, on the latest episode of NPR's Fresh Air, music reviewer Milo Miles says that "Toussaint sounds as eternal as New Orleans" on his recent Nonesuch release, The Bright Mississippi. The new album sees that the pianist's "hepcat style makes a welcome curtain call" after a long hiatus between solo records. Miles continues:

    Producer Joe Henry assembled a backing group fluent in jazz and comfortable with pop vernaculars. While most numbers on this set come from the jazz canon, they are constantly articulated with blues and gospel accents and served up with the unmistakable slow cooking of New Orleans. Whether he's reworking Ellington, Bechet or Reinhardt, Toussaint infuses the numbers with his own elegant funk, particularly evident in his piano work, never so varied and flowing.

    You can listen to the complete review at npr.org.

    ---

    Also on NPR, just in time for JazzFest, WBGO Jazz 88's JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater recently broadcast a concert of Allen Toussaint's Keys to New Orleans tour, featuring Toussaint and fellow pianists Jon Cleary and Henry Butler in performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. You can listen to the complete concert, as well as a web-exclusive performance from Toussaint of "Freedom for the Stallion," at npr.org.

    ---

    In the UK, The Observer's Dave Gelly too focuses on the timelessness of the album's tunes when he suggests that Toussaint's stellar line-up of band mates for the recording have joined him for a "dip into the New Orleans fountain of jazz youth." Gelly cites as "most impressive" among them label mate and fellow New Orleans local Nicholas Payton. As for Toussaint himself, Gelly writes that his "own piano rolls along as ornately and authentically as ever." Read the full review at guardian.co.uk.

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NPR: Allen Toussaint "Sounds As Eternal As New Orleans" on "The Bright Mississippi"

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on May 4, 2009 - 11:34am
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Monday, May 4, 2009 - 15:00
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Allen Toussaint helped close the 40th anniversary New Orleans JazzFest "on an upbeat note" yesterday, says USA Today. NPR's Fresh Air says that "Toussaint sounds as eternal as New Orleans" on his recent Nonesuch release, The Bright Mississippi. "Whether he's reworking Ellington, Bechet or Reinhardt, Toussaint infuses the numbers with his own elegant funk, particularly evident in his piano work, never so varied and flowing." The Observer says the pianist and his band "dip into the New Orleans fountain of jazz youth" on the album, and "Toussaint's own piano rolls along as ornately and authentically as ever.

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Allen Toussaint helped close the 40th anniversary New Orleans JazzFest "on an upbeat note" from the festival's main stage yesterday, says USA Today's Jerry Shriver. The New York Times's Jon Pareles describes the set as "philosophizing and two-fisted barrelhouse piano from the prolific New Orleans songwriter Allen Toussaint."

And speaking of the Crescent City, on the latest episode of NPR's Fresh Air, music reviewer Milo Miles says that "Toussaint sounds as eternal as New Orleans" on his recent Nonesuch release, The Bright Mississippi. The new album sees that the pianist's "hepcat style makes a welcome curtain call" after a long hiatus between solo records. Miles continues:

Producer Joe Henry assembled a backing group fluent in jazz and comfortable with pop vernaculars. While most numbers on this set come from the jazz canon, they are constantly articulated with blues and gospel accents and served up with the unmistakable slow cooking of New Orleans. Whether he's reworking Ellington, Bechet or Reinhardt, Toussaint infuses the numbers with his own elegant funk, particularly evident in his piano work, never so varied and flowing.

You can listen to the complete review at npr.org.

---

Also on NPR, just in time for JazzFest, WBGO Jazz 88's JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater recently broadcast a concert of Allen Toussaint's Keys to New Orleans tour, featuring Toussaint and fellow pianists Jon Cleary and Henry Butler in performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. You can listen to the complete concert, as well as a web-exclusive performance from Toussaint of "Freedom for the Stallion," at npr.org.

---

In the UK, The Observer's Dave Gelly too focuses on the timelessness of the album's tunes when he suggests that Toussaint's stellar line-up of band mates for the recording have joined him for a "dip into the New Orleans fountain of jazz youth." Gelly cites as "most impressive" among them label mate and fellow New Orleans local Nicholas Payton. As for Toussaint himself, Gelly writes that his "own piano rolls along as ornately and authentically as ever." Read the full review at guardian.co.uk.

featuredimage: 
Allen Toussaint square arch, palms, by Michael Wilson

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