Genre: Jazz
Label: Nonesuch
Format: 33RPM,
Size: 12"


Allen Toussaint The Bright Mississippi 2LP

Allen Toussaint

Availability: Backordered
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2009 Released Double LP Reissued On Vinyl!

Through his work as producer, composer, arranger and consummate session man, New Orleans native Allen Toussaint has truly earned living-legend status. He's collaborated on landmark recordings for such artists as Ernie K. Doe, Lee Dorsey, Dr. John, the Meters, the Pointer Sisters and Labelle and released acclaimed albums of his own. The 70 year old pianist, already a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, was the recipient, on the 2009 Grammy Awards telecast, of the Recording Academy's prestigious Trustee Award, honoring a lifetime in the studio, both behind the scenes and in front of the mic. On "The Bright Mississippi", his Nonesuch debut, Toussaint continues to break new ground with his first jazz-oriented set, displaying the same effortless swing and relaxed charm he brought to his classic rock and roll sides. He salutes Big Easy stars of a previous generation, the jazz greats who, in the early 20th century, built the genre from the ground up and turned the ears of the world to New Orleans.

Backed by an all-star combo that sounds like a group of old friends, Toussaint reinterprets classic jazz and blues tunes popularized or written by such New Orleans greats as Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton and Joe "King" Oliver, as well as pieces composed by fellow travelers Django Reinhardt, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. He accedes the producer's chair to trusted friend Joe Henry, who sat behind the board for Toussaint's contributions to Our New Orleans, Nonesuch Records' best-selling 2005 benefit disc aiding hurricane victims on the Gulf Coast. Henry assembled a decidedly non-traditional band of backing players for The Bright Mississippi, assuring a fresh take on such venerable tunes as "West End Blues", "St. James Infirmary", and "Dear Old Southland". Joining Toussaint for four days of sessions at Manhattan's Avatar Studio were Marc Ribot (Costello, Tom Waits), David Piltch (k.d. lang), Don Byron, Nicholas Payton and Jay Bellerose (Robert Plant / Alison Krauss, Sam Phillips). Nonesuch label mates Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman stopped by for one tune each.

"It was wonderful," says Toussaint of these convivial sessions. "Everything is live, of course. This isn't the kind of assembly line music where somebody put the wheels on here and somebody put the top on there. Everything got done at the same time, so everybody fed on each other, their personality and tonality."

"Recorded in New York's Avatar studios, the sessions were beautifully engineered, filled with sharp imaging and harmonic richness, the piano and the horns equally detailed and musical. In the end, this is a sweet little record that's both a pleasure to listen to and a great tribute to one of America's most cultivated musical maestros." - Robert Baird, Stereophile Magazine, July 2009, pg 101

"Despite Toussaint's full-fisted approach to the keys there's nothing rushed about his interpretations. His fluid exchanges with Payton, Ribot, Mehldau, and Redman and his lone vocal on "Long Long Journey" distill the project's intimate elegance to its essence. Sonics balance clarity with resonance in a three-dimensional soundscape." - Derk Richardson, The Absolute Sound Magazine, September 2009

• Double LP
• 140g Vinyl

Allen Toussaint, piano
Marc Ribot, acoustic guitar
Davit Piltch, upright bass
Don Byron, clarinet
Nicholas Payton, trumpet
Jay Bellerose, drums, percussion
Brad Mehldau, piano (5)
Joshua Redman, tenor saxophone (LP2:4)

LP 1

1. Egyptian Fantasy
2. Dear Old Southland
3. St. James Infirmary
4. Singin' the Blues
5. Winin' Boy Blues
6. West End Blues
LP 2
1. Blue Drag
2. Just a Closer Walk With Thee
3. Bright Mississippi
4. Day Dream
5. Long, Long Journey
6. Solitude

Recorded March 19-22, 2008, by Kevin Killen at Avatar Studios, New York

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