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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Allen Toussaint - Piano Jazz (w/Elvis Costello, NYC 2009)

This is kind of a bonus to the two Professor Longhair posts - more New Orleans music and plenty of insight! A very enjoyable "Piano Jazz" show!

Toussaint's recent release Bright Mississippi is most highly recommended!

Allen Toussaint (interviewed by Elvis Costello)
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
New York, NY (USA), Manhattan Beach Studios
April 17, 2009

Allen Toussaint - piano & vocals

1. intro/interview - AT's early introduction to the piano (7:31)
2. sample of Professor Longhair's playing (0:32)
3. AT talks about Toots Washington/Jitney (1:48)
4. illustrating Junker Blues (1:23)
5. AT talks about the growing tradition of New Orleans piano (0:13)
6. illustrating the evolution of New Orleans piano (0:39)
7. Tipitina (0:47)
8. talking about finding his voice, early songwriting (3:00)
9. illustrating saloon music (0:18)
10. talking about the song Southern Nights (1:36)
11. Southern Nights (1:37)
12. ID break (0:39)
13. AT talks about his religious upbringing and Mother In Law origins (2:37)
14. Mother In Law (1:17)
15. talking about Fortune Teller (2:00)
16. Fortune Teller (0:40)
17. ID break (0:46)
18. AT talks about recording his own material, working with The Band (10:11)
19. Solitude (2:38)
20. talking about The Bright Mississippi (4:44)
21. Singing The Blues (1:32)
22. ID break (0:45)
23. EC talks about working with AT (3:32)
24. Tipitina/Ascension Day (4:15)
25. credits (1:55)

TT: 57:10

Sound: A/A-
Lineage: Sony XDR-F1HD HD Radio tuner (WBGO, 88.3, Newark, NJ HD Radio reception) -> Sound Devices 722(@24/44.1); FLAC File processing in SoundForge Audio Studio 9.0c (Peak Level Normalize to 0db; 24->16 bit highpass triangular dither with high pass contour noise shaping); Tracked in cdwav

Recorded, mastered, and tracked by Scott Bernstein

August 26, 2009 - As part of the celebration of 30 years of Piano Jazz, Marian McPartland has asked some of her favorite musicians to guest host.

Singer-songwriter Elvis Costello sits down with music legend Allen Toussaint in this installment of Piano Jazz. Like Toussaint, Costello has crossed many genres in his career, working with the likes of producer/composer Nick Lowe, trumpet great Chet Baker, legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach and his own wife, jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall.

Toussaint is one of New Orleans' most revered musicians, working since the late 1950s as an arranger-producer while writing songs like "Working in a Coal Mine," "Southern Nights" and "Ride Your Pony." These days, he performs his music around the world, and even joined Costello to record the 2006 album The River in Reverse. In this session, Costello introduces Toussaint as "a living embodiment of the rich musical heritage of the Crescent City."

Here, Toussaint performs "Mother-in-Law," "Fortune Teller" and a very personal version of "Southern Nights," a hit single for country/pop great Glen Campbell. Toussaint takes the song back to its roots, recalling the nights when his father took him to the country to visit "the old Creole people." Then he brings his New Orleans-born rhythmic and harmonic sensibilities to the standards "Singin' the Blues," a song closely associated with Marian McPartland and her late husband, cornetist Jimmy McPartland.

The lively conversation covers early influences on Toussaint's music: jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, church music and "hillbilly music." Talk changes to the great storm Toussaint calls "the booking agent Katrina." It actually helped him move into a rewarding new phase in his career.

In the final selection, the duo plays a medley of piano legend Professor Longhair's "Tipitina" and the Toussaint-Costello song "Ascension Day." Over Toussaint's rolling, bluesy piano, Costello's lyrics paint an anguished picture of the empty streets they found shortly after Katrina, when they came to New Orleans to finish The River in Reverse. There is hope in the song's ending, though: "But I know they will return / Like they've never gone away / Come Ascension Day."

by Alfred Turner


ubu said...

FLAC (tagged) + info:

Yotte said...

Try this on for size. It's not flac but it sounds ok...

It's from NPR too. Live at The Village Vanguard May 20, 2009.

ubu said...

Great, thanks a lot!

ubu said...

more info:

Allen Toussaint
New York City (USA), Village Vanguard
May 20, 2009

Allen Toussaint - piano, vocals
Marc Ribot - guitar
David Piltch - bass
Jay Bellerose - drums
Don Byron - clarinet, tenor sax
Christian Scott - trumpet
Joe Henry - vocals (#4)

1. Intro (1:20)
2. Egyptian Fantasy (Bechet/Reid) 4:32
3. Singin' the Blues (Conrad/Robinson) 6:01
4. St. James Infirmary (Trad.) 7:17
5. Old Rugged Cross (Bennard) 5:40
6. Blue Drag (Reinhardt) 6:09
7. Dear Old Southland (Bloch) 6:34 [Christian Scott duet]
8. Day Dream (Strayhorn) 5:36 [Don Byron duet]
9. Solitude (Ellington) 5:19 [Marc Ribot duet]
10. West End Blues (Oliver/Williams) 5:18
11. Vamp and announcements (5:15)
12. Bright Mississippi (Monk) 6:34
13. Tipitina/Big Chief (Longhair/King) 4:56 [piano solo]
14. Southern Nights Intro (Toussaint) 2:58
15. Southern Nights (Toussaint) 4:09 [piano solo]
16. chatter with audience (1:44)
17. Long, Long Journey (Feather) 5:05
18. Outro (1:31)

TT: 86:07


fent99 said...

Hey Ubu
Enjoyed the Piano Jazz. (I love all the Piano Jazz shows I've heard. Do you have more?) In it Costello mentions a show from Germany with Joe and his son Levon. Is that something circulating? Thought you might know?

ubu said...

Colin, I don't know about that German show, sorry!

As for "Piano Jazz", yes, I have several dozen... wonderful shows!

Yotte said...

Hey Ubu,
A friend asked me to post my rip of the NPR Bright Mississippi show (so I did) at Pathway To Unknown Worlds. I took the liberty of mentioning your site and linking to this post. Here's the post:

ubu said...

Thanks Yotte - that's fine with me!