I’ve been fortunate to have seen the great Allen Toussaint perform live a couple of times – once in a solo show in Washington that was a benefit for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and once in the late ’80s at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
The other day I heard him playing an astounding solo piano piece on the radio – it was called Tipitina and Me – a slowed down, minor key version of Professor Longhair’s trademark tune Tipitina, and I had to go out and buy it. It’s on a CD called Our New Orleans, and the whole CD is a gem. In addition to Tip and Me, Toussaint does a hard grooving minimalist version of his Yes We Can Can, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has a good rockin’ thing called My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now, the Wild Magnolias do their Mardi Gras Indian version of Brother John Is Gone, and the great Irma Thomas does a nice blues.
It’s also got the Preservation Hall Jazz Band doing Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? (all of these songs take on such added poignancy now), and it ends with Randy Newman doing a hearbreaking rendition of his Louisiana 1927 with the NY Philharmonic.
Not only is the music great, but the proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity to help with Katrina rebuilding efforts. What more could you ask for?
Go out and get this CD.