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Fess Up: Professor Longhair

Still in NOLA here is a newly curated anthology of the life and works of Professor Longhair (this year marks the centenary of his birth), originally documented by the late Stevenson J. Palfi. That “Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together” is quite true, but we are lucky to have had the Fats-Ray-Jerry summit from thirty years…

The Fats Domino Story

As one might expect there will be a plethora of shallow obituaries and a flurry of mediocre books but the best sources and likely to remain so are Rick Coleman’s Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Joseph Lauro’s The Big Beat: The Story of Fats Domino and His Band (available on…

Remembering Allen Toussaint

Commemorating the birth of the master. I think that of his more recent recordings The Bright Mississippi stands as his best, far exceeding his posthumous American Tunes. I must be the only one who thinks that Toussaint’s collaboration with Elvis Costello is thoroughly overrated, though that doesn’t compromise AT at all. Though he has his moments Costello for the most part comes off…

Bayou Maharajah: James Booker Story

I’ve been anticipating seeing this for quite some time now and today was the day. The DVD packaging is superb and of course features a “who’s who” of the NOLA music scene. Two of my favorite clips include the 1973 Don Kirshner Rock Concert with Mac, the Harry Connick Sr. (and 12 y.o. Jr.) segments, and the Scott Billington segment featuring…

Allen Toussaint’s Final Release

The master’s final release. The blurb from Nonsuch Records as follows: “American Tunes is the final recording from legendary New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint. It was produced by Joe Henry and features both solo piano recordings made at Toussaint’s home studio in New Orleans and others made in Los Angeles with musicians like Jay Bellerose,…