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Allen Toussaint


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.

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