The Songs of Allen Toussaint
Released: 21st July 2017
Cool Green Recordings / Mascot Label Group
Featuring: Jolynda Kiki Chapman, Cyril Neville, Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison, Trombone Shorty, Maceo Parker, Nicholas Payton and Wendell Pierce.
“In the beginning was the beat. And the beat was strong . . .”
Toussaint’s sudden death on November 10, 2015 (in Madrid, far from home, of a heart attack, after playing a concert) shocked the city. The polymath New Orleans producer, songwriter, arranger, bandleader, pianist, singer, and all-around figure of elegance had been a vital, active presence in New Orleans since the 1950s.
The three musicians immediately shelved their planned album and went into creative hyperdrive. “We already had studio time booked, we couldn’t wait,” Moore recalls. “It’s not like we wrote out all these arrangements ahead of time. We were flying by the seat of our pants.”
As they began working up pieces of Toussaint’s vast repertoire, it quickly became a vocal album with guest singers. “As Tork likes to say,” Moore comments, “being a musician in New Orleans is like having the greatest musical toolbox at your disposal.” Supplementing their trio with some of New Orleans’s living legends – their friends — they re-imagined Toussaint’s songs, conceptualizing and building out an album on the fly.
With You in Mind: The Songs of Allen Toussaint is built on the livest grooves the trio could deliver. It was a bittersweet project for all concerned, celebrating the memory of someone whose living presence was so important. “I didn’t get to work with Allen as often as I’d have liked to,” Moore says, “but I did get to.” Their friendship went back twenty years. “Through the years we crossed paths a few times. The first time he played with us was also the first time we played the Saenger Theater,” referring to the 2,600-seat New Orleans landmark.
“Allen Toussaint wrote the soundtrack to New Orleans,” says Moore. He came out of an environment that no longer exists.
The level of talent and ability and artistry that he embodied – we won’t see this again.”
Here Comes The Girls (feat. Cyril Neville & Trombone Shorty)
Life (feat. Cyril Neville, Nicholas Payton & Skerik)
Java (feat. Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison & Trombone Shorty)
All These Things (feat. Jolyanda Kiki Chapman)
Night People (feat. Maceo Parker)
The Beat (feat. Cyril Neville)
Riverboat (feat. Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison)
Everything I Do Gone Be Funky (feat. Maceo Parker)
With You In Mind
Southern Nights (feat. Nicholas Payton & Wendell Pierce)