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Pianist, vocalist, producer and songwriting legend (and Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame inductee), Allen Toussaint stopped by the KPLU studios on June 1 and took us on a sweet and uplifting trip to New Orleans with his music.
Mr. Toussaint has crossed many paths in his illustrious career in music. He has produced, written for, and performed with music giants such as Dr. John, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Boz Scaggs and Irma Thomas to name a few.
Toussaint began the performance with the first song he ever recorded, Happy Times. He followed that up with a song originally written for himself, but was turned into a huge hit by Boz Scaggs, and later Bonnie Raitt, What Do You Want The Girl Do:
His final song, It's A New Orleans Thing, inspired by the late Professor Longhair, who Toussaint refers to as the Bach" of New Orleans music. Listen for hints of Professor's classic Tipitina throughout the tune:
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.