A report on Allen Toussaint and Earl King

Toussaint at the Freret Street Festival,
New Orleans, 2009
King at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, 1997
Toussaint performing in Stockholm in 2009
Allen Toussaint receiving the National Medal of Arts in 2013

After a lucky break at age 17, in which he stood in for Huey "Piano" Smith at a performance with Earl King's band in Prichard, Alabama, Toussaint was introduced to a group of local musicians led by Dave Bartholomew, who performed regularly at the Dew Drop Inn, a nightclub on Lasalle Street in Uptown New Orleans.

- Allen Toussaint

In 1972, he was joined by Allen Toussaint and the Meters to record the album Street Parade.

- Earl King
Toussaint at the Freret Street Festival,
New Orleans, 2009

6 related topics with Alpha

Overall

Porter Jr. performing in 2004

George Porter Jr.

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American musician, best known as the bassist and singer of The Meters.

American musician, best known as the bassist and singer of The Meters.

Porter Jr. performing in 2004
Porter performs at Bimbo's 365 Club, San Francisco, May 2011

He has been performing and recording with wide range of artists including Soul Rebels Brass Band, Dr. John, Paul McCartney, Robbie Robertson, Willy DeVille, Robert Palmer, Patti Labelle, Jimmy Buffett, David Byrne, Johnny Adams, Harry Connick Jr., Earl King, Warren Haynes, Tori Amos, and Snooks Eaglin among many others.

After a short time, however, the band was trimmed down to four core members - Art Neville, Zigaboo Modeliste, Leo Nocentelli and Porter Jr. The four were playing six nights a week at a Bourbon Street bar called Ivanhoe when they were approached by Allen Toussaint and asked if they wanted to sign a record deal.

Professor Longhair at 1975 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Professor Longhair

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American singer and pianist who performed New Orleans blues.

American singer and pianist who performed New Orleans blues.

Professor Longhair at 1975 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Former home of Professor Longhair, in 2015
Piano excerpt from the rumba boogie "Mardi Gras in New Orleans" (1949) by Professor Longhair. 2-3 clave is written above for rhythmic reference.

Music journalist Tony Russell (in his book The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray) wrote that "The vivacious rhumba-rhythmed piano blues and choked singing typical of Fess were too weird to sell millions of records; he had to be content with siring musical offspring who were simple enough to manage that, like Fats Domino or Huey "Piano" Smith. But he is also acknowledged as a father figure by subtler players like Allen Toussaint and Dr. John."

He first recorded "Big Chief" with its composer, Earl King, in 1964.

Dr. John at the 2007
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Dr. John

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American singer and songwriter.

American singer and songwriter.

Dr. John at the 2007
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Dr. John at the 2006 Jazz à Vienne festival, in Vienne, France
Dr. John at the Liri Blues Festival, Italy, July 2010
Dr. John performing at Le Poisson Rouge, New York City, 2011

There, he gained experience working with many artists, including James Booker, Earl King, and Jimmy Clanton.

In 1973, with Allen Toussaint producing and The Meters backing, Dr. John released the seminal New Orleans funk album In the Right Place.

Eaglin in 2006

Snooks Eaglin

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American guitarist and singer based in New Orleans.

American guitarist and singer based in New Orleans.

Eaglin in 2006

In 1952, he joined the Flamingoes, a local seven-piece band started by Allen Toussaint.

Between 1987 and 1999, he recorded four studio albums and a live album and appeared as a guest on a number of recordings by other Black Top artists, including Henry Butler, Earl King, and Tommy Ridgley.

Nocentelli performing in 2006

Leo Nocentelli

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American musician and songwriter best known as a founding member and lead guitarist of the funk band The Meters.

American musician and songwriter best known as a founding member and lead guitarist of the funk band The Meters.

Nocentelli performing in 2006

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Nocentelli wrote, co-wrote and did session work – mostly in Cosimo, Sansu, and Sea-Saint studios.

He backed a variety of artists such as Dr. John, Robert Palmer, Albert King, Etta James, Joe Cocker, Earl King, Chris Kenner, and Betty Harris.

Palmer performing live at Sunset Strip Roxy in 1986

Robert Palmer (singer)

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English singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer.

English singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer.

Palmer performing live at Sunset Strip Roxy in 1986

Notably, "Sailin' Shoes" (the album's first track, and a Little Feat cover), Palmer's own "Hey Julia", and the Allen Toussaint-penned title track carry virtually the same rhythm, and were packaged on the album as a "trilogy" without a pause between them.

Another song, "Trick Bag", was written by one of his major influences, New Orleans jazz artist Earl King.