The loss of Allen Toussaint earlier this week continues to reverberate as many continue to mourn his untimely death at age 77. Many musicians and others have expressed their condolences in the form of social media messages and several artists performed live musical tributes this week. In honor of the late New Orleans great, below is a Spotify Playlist – Allen Toussaint’s Songbook – composed of 30 tracks written by the renowned American songwriter, with some featuring the equally talented performer himself.
The Roots drummer Questlove in his tribute to Toussaint wrote, “This dude wrote some of your favorite music & you just didn’t know it” and while that may be true for the average listener, those who have studied liner notes of their favorite records, or sought out the original author of a cover performed by a band they love are likely to have crossed paths with the Toussaint songbook. Many of those beloved songs are featured in this week’s Spotify Playlist.
Noted fellow NOLA musicians contributing to the playlist include The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dr. John, The Soul Rebels, Aaron Neville and The Meters, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Toussaint can also be heard playing alongside Chet Atkins, Elvis Costello & Robbie Robertson and on a few solo recordings as well. Some of the solo artists whose Toussaint covers made the cut included Lowell George, Bonnie Raitt, Warren Zevon, Mavis Staples, Joe Cocker, Harry Nilsson, Van Dyke Parks, Susan Tedeschi and Robert Palmer.
There are also well-known recordings by The Band, Little Feat, Booker T. & The MG’s, Three Dog Night and Phish, making up the nearly two-hour playlist.