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Cerys Matthews - A Tribute To Allen Toussaint

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:49 am
by Jarlath
Cerys Matthews - A Tribute To Allen Toussaint

BBC World Service Sunday 13.12.15

Cerys Matthews pays tribute to the musician, songwriter, and production genius Allen Toussaint, a key figure in the development of the sound of New Orleans for over 50 years.

A huge fan, Cerys was looking forward to interviewing Allen when he visited the UK for the London Jazz Festival in November. Sadly, Allen died whilst on tour in Spain and, so, the planned profile becomes a tribute to his incredible career.

With a precocious talent, and curious ear, Allen soaked up the sounds of his native city and childhood home. And from the second line of brass following Jazz funerals; and the percussive beats of the Mardi Gras Indians; to the blues tracks on the radio; and the Grieg Piano Concerto he learnt by ear, Allen was open to all genres of music.

But he didn’t just assimilate these influences, he was a true pioneer, and when inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, he was praised for keeping pace with musical developments and not allowing New Orleans’ old-school R&B traditions to die out.

He may not have been the household name he deserved to be but the roll call of artists he worked with - or who covered his compositions - is testament to his status as a musician’s musican. Snooks Eaglin’, Irma Thomas, The Meters, Glen Campbell, Patti LaBelle, Herb Alpert, Otis Redding, The Band, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello - and many, many more – they all contribute to the legacy of the Allen Toussaint sound.

Available on the BBC iplayer for 29 days

Re: Cerys Matthews - A Tribute To Allen Toussaint

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:04 pm
by NormanD
Thanks for the link, I missed it last night. If it's the same interview she did on her Sunday show a while back then it's definitely one to hear.

Decent live radio interviews are very much lacking these days, and may now sadly be a thing of the past. I can't help being reminded of how many great interviews Charlie used to do on his various radio shows, from the early-70s onwards. His relaxed style, knowledge of the interviewee and their music - often including many of its obscure and less significant moments - was a thing of wonder. He rarely came across as star-struck (though a couple of slightly embarrassing exceptions stand out), and he could be both questioning and challenging. I don't think he ever interviewed Allen Toussaint, although I well remember his radio conversations with Prof Longhair and Roy Brown.

Re: Cerys Matthews - A Tribute To Allen Toussaint

PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:32 am
by Alan
Charlie was due to interview Allen for World Service in October 2008. I was thrilled to be invited. I arrived at Bush House reception and said hi I'm Alan and here for Charlie's programme. Within moments a 'real' BBC producer arrived at the desk, put out his hand and said 'Mr Toussaint, welcome to the BBC'. It must've been my stylish attire and good looks together with my obvious song-writing genius. This chap had clearly done his research. As we waited in the studio, I was dying to tell Charlie but had to keep a diplomatic silence till much later. Unfortunately Allen's flight had been delayed so that programme was never made. The following July he gave a stunning performance at the Jazz Café which Charlie loved.
I think Charlie did manage to interview Allen for Radio 3 some time later. I'll see if I can find it somewhere and post a link.

Re: Cerys Matthews - A Tribute To Allen Toussaint

PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:40 pm
by Alan
Boxing Day 2015 1am and available online after broadcast

New Orleans - BBC Radio 6 music - Insight (60 mins)

In a programme first broadcast in 1976 and repeated as a tribute to Allen Toussaint, who died in November, the late Charlie Gillett tells the musical story of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, also known as 'The Big Easy'. The programme includes an interview with Allen Toussaint and music from artists such as Fats Domino, Jewel King, Professor Longhair, Huey "Piano" Smith and The Meters.