R.I.P. Allen Toussaint


From the New York Times:

Allen Toussaint, the versatile producer, songwriter, pianist and singer who was a fixture of New Orleans R&B, died after appearing in concert in Madrid on Monday night. He was 77.

Alison Toussaint-LeBeaux, his daughter, confirmed his death. Javier Ayuso, a spokesman for Madrid emergency services, told The Associated Press that rescue workers had been called to Mr. Toussaint’s hotel early Tuesday and were able to revive him after a heart attack, but that Mr. Toussaint later stopped breathing en route to a hospital.

In concert, in the studio or around his beloved New Orleans, Mr. Toussaint (pronounced too-SAHNT) was a soft-spoken embodiment of the city’s musical traditions, revered as one of the master craftsmen of 20th-century American pop.

“In the pantheon of New Orleans music people, from Jelly Roll Morton to Mahalia Jackson to Fats — that’s the place where Allen Toussaint is in,” said Quint Davis, the longtime producer of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, where Mr. Toussaint played almost every year since the mid-1970s.

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