The Complete Warner Recordings
Put simply, Allen Toussaint is the greatest musician produced by New Orleans in the latter half of the twentieth century, and the music compiled on the Complete Warner Recordings is arguably his best work. This is not an idle boast, but a simple statement of fact. If Toussaint had never recorded as a solo artist he would still be accorded a hallowed place in America’s musical history because his songwriting and production work for artists like the Meters, Lee Dorsey, and Ernie K. Doe revolutionized New Orleans music while paying tribute to its progenitors. Toussaint drew upon the raucous parade ground rhythms of Professor Longhair, the deep swamp boogie of Slim Harpo, and the musical sophistication of Louis Armstrong to create a supple, organic style of funk possessed of both toughness and sensitivity. On his early ‘70s albums for Warner Brothers, Love, Life and Faith, Southern Nights, and Motion, compiled here in their entirety, Toussaint took this formula one step forward by masterfully adapting his sound to the pop music idiom. HIs compositions on these albums rival those of Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson for economy and grace while possessing a sense of soul and purpose uniquely and more deeply his own.