Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Allen Toussaint

I hope the BBC find a slot soon for their 2006 documentary as a tribute to the work of pianist (double thirds a speciality) composer, producer and arranger Allen Toussaint, who's died on tour, after a concert in Madrid's Teatro Lara. He was 77.

Lee Dorsey gave voice to some of his best early compositions: Holy Cow, Working In A Coal Mine, Ride Your Pony, Freedom for the Stallion and Yes We Can, often with the loose-yet-metronomic backing of The Meters. He produced LaBelle's Lady Marmalade album, and Dr John's Right Place Wrong Time, and wrote What Do You Want The Girl To Do ? which soared away as a cover for both Boz Scaggs and Bonnie Raitt.

He provided the horn arrangements for Paul Simon, on the track Tenderness from 1973's Rhymin Simon. In 1975 Paul McCartney and Wings recorded most of Venus and Mars in Allen's New Orleans studio. He added a great horn arrangement to the Band's The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, for their farewell Last Waltz gig (featuring Howard Johnson on tuba) in 1976.

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