Gotta love New York.
It doesn't get much better than Allen Toussaint doing a six night 14 show residency at The Village Vanguard.
I caught the Friday late (11pm) show. All the early shows were sold out in advance as was this show. These gigs are in support of his new album, The Bright Mississippi which is an homage to the traditional jazz of New Orleans. Toussaint in a pop/funk/soul legend but doesn't dabble that much in jazz. His band consisted of excellent players including the downtown New York icon and Costello, Waits et al veteran Marc Ribot on acoustic guitar, Don Byron on clarinet and sax, and the awesome young trumpeter Christian Scott.
Really nice well focused show. sublimely quiet at times, the crowd was really into it hanging on every note.
The new stuff sounded great, mostly instumental. He trotted out album producer and singer/songwriter extraordinare Joe Henry to sing
St. James Infirmary. Henry also came out later and introduced the band.
It looks like every show Toussaint breaks out of the jazz framework once and does one of his classic songs like Southern Nights. Last night instead he chose a Professor Longhair medley that included Bald Head and Tipitina(a medley made famous by James Booker). If you see him do his solo gig at Joes Pub he usually does it.
In the room was Phish bass player Mike Gordon. He ordered Frangelico (of course!) but alas the Vanguard wasn't pouring it.
Thanks for the review. My buddy caught one of these shows last week and was highly impressed.
he is doing the sunday brunch at joe's pub for 2 sundays in june
i really wanna hit one of those