A Guide to Recognizing Toussaint | Solid State

A Guide to Recognizing Toussaint

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Last week, I had a great conversation with New Orleans pianist Allen Toussaint, for the cover story of tomorrow's paper. Among other things — discussing the art of songwriting, returning to New Orleans post-Katrina, collaborating with Elvis Costello, etc. — my chat with the legendary songwriter confirmed something I've long suspected: that when I grow up, I want to be an old, black piano player from New Orleans. Dude is just one smooth cat, even at 72.

Anyway, here's an older clip from a British TV show that sort of illustrates what I mean. In it, Toussaint describes how his mentor, Professor Longhair, subtly helped shape the course of N'awlins jazz piano.