Me, my wife Pondie, and the great Allen Toussaint, November 9, 2013.
I was greatly saddened to hear that one of my favorite musicians, the warm and brilliant Allen Toussaint, passed away today. He was a truly gifted songwriter, piano player, and ambassador of New Orleans music. Toussaint worked with many great artists, from The Band to Paul McCartney. Toussaint's album with Elvis Costello, "The River in Reverse," is a classic. Allen Toussaint had tons of style and class. He dressed impeccably, but he was always humble and self-effacing. I was lucky enough to see Allen Toussaint live three times at the Dakota Jazz Club, in 2009, 2011, and 2013. I met him after his 2013 concert, and he was a really nice, sweet guy to talk to. I told him that I had seen him three times in concert, and he said he was glad I kept coming back. I'm glad I kept coming back too and that I got to see a giant of American music live. RIP, Mr. Toussaint.