Friday, November 13, 2015

Allen Toussaint: The Weekend Mix

I've read an outpouring of tributes this week. I shouldn't be surprised by how many people were affected by both Allen Toussaint's music and his passing, yet as I listened to song after song, I couldn't help but think, "Man, he did that, too!"

I met the man once. It was my very first trip to New Orleans and I was at Generations Hall for something called "Piano Night." It was all still new to me. I hadn't discovered all the musicians that are now some of my favorite people in the world, including Jon Cleary and David Torkanowsky. I was wandering around in between acts and there was Allen Toussaint, larger than life, doing the same, completely approachable. It's hard to explain what I was feeling. Living in New York City, you bump into celebritites and musicians all the time. Many were regulars at my shop. For me, it seemed more likely to meet a Beatle or a Stone than some mythical giant like Allen Toussaint. But here he was and this is what happened.

Mr. Toussaint, may I take your picture?

Allen Toussaint:
Well, go ahead son.

I did and that was that. I was speechless for the next half hour or so.

I had to create a mix of the man, the songs he wrote, the songs he produced and the songs he performed. These 21 tunes just scratch the surface of his genius, so I added two more at the top and bottom of the page.



Yes We Can Can-The Pointer Sisters
Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)- Frankie Miller
Whipped Cream- The Stokes
When The Party's Over- Allen Toussaint
Ruler Of My Heart- Irma Thomas
Shoorah! Shoorah!- Betty Wright
Sneakin' Sally Throiugh The Alley- Lee Dorsey
On Your Way Down- Little Feat
Tell It Like It Is- Aaron Neville
Soul Sister-Allen Toussaint
Lipstick Traces- Benny Spellman
Back In Baby's Arms- Allen Toussaint
Night People- Robert Palmer
The Greatest Love- Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
What Do You Want The Girl To Do- Boz Scaggs
Southern Nights- Jon Cleary
Two Trains- Allen Toussaint & Leo Nocentelli
Deep Dark Truthful Mirror (Live)- Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
All These Things- Allen Toussaint
American Tune- Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
Just A Closer Walk With Thee- Allen Toussaint



William Repsher said...

I'll be pulling this one down. Just by chance this morning, my "Recently Added" playlist came up with his cover of "I Wave Bye Bye" from the recent Jesse Winchester tribute album ... a nice send-off. The Frankie Miller version of "Brickyard Blues" is the one to go with ... I would have broken mix modicum and included his take of "With You in Mind." Allen's original version of "Southern Nights" is so radically different (and better ... nothing against Glen Campbell) than the hit version, but you could have easily done a mix three times as large for career highlights.


Thank you so much for this mix. I've been thinking of making same but lack the library and -- especially -- the knowledge.

Toussaint's body of work and influence on music is remarkable.

dogbreath said...

Blissful in my ignorance as I am, I wasn't aware of the Toussaint involvement in a lot of the songs in the mix so it's an eye-opener for me and for which I'm grateful.
Frankie Miller's take on "Brickyard Blues" has long been a favourite but there's a lot of good stuff to savour in this mix. Many thanks & may your weekend be a good one, although not quite as good as mine. Cheers!

buzzbabyjesus said...

"Brickyard Blues" was the last song I cut from the Loss Leader's mix. Literally.
That Wild Tchoupitoulas album has long been a favorite. Initially I bought it for the cover, and man, that was a needle drop to remember. It opened the door to New Orleans for me.
I didn't meet any famous musicians, or even see any music, really, for the two days I spent there and across the causeway. I did however paddle an aluminum boat on a bayou, sail a vintage one on Lake Ponchatrain and hang out in some local watering holes.
There is no place like it.

Dr Wu said...

You and this site made me aware of what a true musical genius he was. I'm eternally grateful. Looking forward to this mix.

Ken D said...

And to think you recently wanted to end your Weekend Mixes...
Thanks so much for putting this together.

sclinchy said...

Thank you, Sal, beautifully done as usual. It can't have been easy to choose only twenty one numbers.

Chris Collins said...

This is so great! thank you!

ken49 said...

Thanks much for the mix. Saw Allen about six months ago, flashy suit and all. When the giants come through town you better go see them. They are not around forever nor are we for that matter.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I forgot to mention how much I like the looks of this weekend's mix.

Bill said...

I'm crying just looking at the song titles.

David said...

THANK YOU - THANK YOU so much for putting this awesome mix together in tribute to one of America's greatest songwriters. Such a sad loss, but his music will live on. Thanks for all you do, Sal, with your site and sharing the music you love, we love. all the best, dave in sf

Troy said...

Nice mix, Sal. Thank you.

A walk in the woods said...

I echo what David said.

This looks like a nice tribute. It was very sad to hear about Toussaint's passing. I got to see him play live once, and of course it was at Jazz Fest. What a brilliant musician.