The quintessential New Orleans pianist, Allen Toussaint helped define the Crescent City's unique brand of R&B while creating its swampy Funk sound. He began his career in the late 1950s when he sat in for Fats Domino in a recording session; the following decade saw him write and arrange countless hits for other artists. Al Hirt, Herb Alpert, Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey, the Meters, the Neville Brothers, the Pointers Sisters and Glen Campbell are indebted for his work as a songwriter, arranger and producer. His playing has what he calls "flairs of Fess" -- a reference to Professor Longhair, patron saint of the New Orleans piano faculty. From Boogie-Woogie and jazz to ballads and blues, Toussaint plays them all amidst crafty horn arrangements, laying out the rhythm section with complex dialogues he makes sound easy.
Allen Toussaint Concert Films
Love for Levon: A Benefit To Save The Barn
Runtime: 2 hr 40 minIt only takes about 200 folks to rattle the rafters during one of the Midnight Rambles at Levon Helm's rustic studio in Woodstock, New York. But it took the 20,000-seat Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, to hold his adoring fans for the LOVE FOR LEVON tribute concert on October 3, 2012. Helm, who died the previous April from throat cancer, organized his first Ramble back in 2004. People flocked to these intimate events Levon hosted, joined by an enviable core of Woodstock-based musicians and special guests. You couldn't beat the intimacy or the vibe. The Izod Center concert served as a fund-raiser and pledge to keep the Rambles alive. Dozens of luminaries from rock, soul, and country-artists as diverse as Roger Waters, Mavis Staples, and My Morning Jacket-gathered to pay their collective respects in an incredible final tribute to Levon Helm. This LOVE FOR LEVON extravaganza features 27 songs capped by a full group finale of The Weight, one of Levon's greatest moments on record. On this magical night, everyone felt the outpouring of love toward Levon. That evening, one at a time, or sometimes in pairs, music royalty took turns in the spotlight, performing songs associated with Levon Helm and the Band. Produced by Blackbird Presents blackbirdpresents.com
Allen Toussaint Top Tracks
Live at Montreux 2006
Runtime: 1 hr 56 minSoul legend Solomon Burke delivers a twenty-song set in Montreux. He delivers renditions of such classics as "Georgia On My Mind," and "I Will Survive,", and he performs a number of medleys that include such recognizable standards as "When the Saints Go Marching In," "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," and "Tutti Frutti."
I Can't Stand the Rain
Runtime: 46 minThis performance was recorded at Belgium's renowned Lokerse Feesten in 1996. As well as the classic 'I Can't Stand The Rain', the concert includes an awesome version of the autobiographical 'St. Louis Woman (With A Memphis Melody)'. She is best known for her inspirational recording of 'I Can't Stand The Rain', a 1974 classic which no less an icon than John Lennon described as "the greatest single ever." That clearly puts Ann Peebles right up there with soul divas like Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, and while the amount of her recorded work doesn't match up to theirs, it's hardly quantity that we're counting. This is all about quality and Ann Peebles has that aplenty.
Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown
Runtime: 1 hr 60 minDirected by Oscar and Emmy winner Alex Gibney, and co-produced by Mick Jagger, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown digs into the career of one of music and culture's towering figures, using fresh interviews with band members and contemporaries, extraordinary historical interview footage, and rare archival. Film running time is 120 minutes. Bonus features include an essay by Mick Jagger, 27 minutes of additional interviews, commentary, photo gallery and Soul Train performances.
Runtime: 1 hr 16 minStill Bill is an intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers, best known for his classics "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean On Me," "Lovely Day," "Grandma's Hands," and "Just the Two of Us." With his soulful delivery and warm, heartfelt sincerity, Withers has written the songs that continue to resonate deeply within the fabric of our times. Filmmakers Damani Baker and Alex Vlack follow Withers and offer a unique and rare look inside the world of this fascinating man. Through concert footage, journeys to his birthplace and interviews with music and sports legends, his family and closest friends, STILL BILL presents the story of an artist who has written some of the most beloved songs of our time and who truly understands the heart and soul of a man.