Allen Toussaint - Toussaint (1971)

Allen Toussaint is an American musician, songwriter and record producer, an influential figure in New Orleans R&B since the 1960s.
A native of New Orleans, Allen Toussaint started his music career as a much in demand session pianist, his playing inspired by his hero Professor Longhair. At an early age he got to work with such New Orleans musical legends as Fats Domino and Earl King, and recorded an album of piano instrumentals called The Wild Sound Of New Orleans in 1958.
Throughout the 60s he worked as a producer and songwriter, and this way truly rose to the status of legend. His guiding hand helped define the sound of New Orleans R&B throughout the decade, interrupted only by a brief stint in the army from ‘63 to ‘65. The artist he was most notably associated with was singer Lee Dorsey, who had hits with the Toussaint compositions “Ride Your Pony”, “Get Out Of My Life, Woman“, “Holy Cow”, “Working In The Coalmine” and “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (From Now On)”. Other New Orleans artists he wrote and produced for included Irma Thomas ("It's Raining", "Ruler Of My Heart"), Benny Spellman ("Fortune Teller", "Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)"), Chris Kenner ("I Like It Like That") and Ernie K-Doe ("Mother-In-Law").
His next album, simply titled Toussaint, didn’t come out until 1971, thirteen years after The Wild Sound Of New Orleans. It was here that he first debuted as a singer, the first side of the album consisting of vocal songs and the second half consisting of piano-driven instrumentals. The music was spectacularly produced, with lots of great instrumentation (including Dr John on organ and guitar) and the brassy horn arrangements typical of New Orleans R&B. It was laid back, cool, and inescapably funky. He also proved to be an excellent singer, and offered his own versions of “Working In The Coalmine” and “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky”.
The album was a great artistic success, long overdue at the time. Unfortunately it didn’t make much of a commercial impact.

Toussaint has been re-issued numerous times over the years, often under the title From A Whisper To A Scream, which is how you are most likely to find it nowadays. Later versions feature a bonus instrumental which I have put in here as well, as it’s too good to leave out.

The Wild Sound Of New Orleans (1958) <|> Life, Love And Faith (1972)
More from Allen Toussaint



Anonymous said...

Great album!...mine got stolen.....any chance you can repost?

goinsidemyhead said...

really crazy almost psychedelic "From A whisper to a Scream"... to some instrumentals sounding like likable TV theme-songs and everyone goes church to a completely unfunky country Mac Davis version of Everything I Do Got to be Funky From Now dig?