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American Tunes

The sparkling final album from a national treasure.

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Allen Toussaint

Chad Batka/The New York Times/Redux

If New Orleans is the source of America’s greatest musical gumbo, Allen Toussaint was one of our master chefs. Before his death last year, Toussaint had worked with numerous local heroes, including Ernie K-Doe and Dr. John, and added some Crescent City stardust to collaborations with Paul McCartney and The Band. American Tunes gathers his final recordings into a dazzling survey of 20th Century piano masterworks, with compositions by Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, and Bill Evans all given Toussaint’s immaculate light swing; three songs associated with his mentor, Professor Longhair, spotlight the sparkling melodies at their core, rather than the more obvious house-rocking grooves. With elegance and grace, Toussaint was a national treasure to the very end.

In This Article: Allen Toussaint

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