Pictured: Toussaint with Dr. John
Most people want to achieve something in life that they’re remembered for. We want to be stars on the Hollywood walk and we want our names to ring bells.
But sometimes, the quietest stars and the people in the background are the most influential ones. These are the people who make an impact without the surrounding noise.
You may not have heard of Allen Toussaint, but you’ve certainly heard Allen Toussaint. Toussaint is the heart of New Orleans and its rhythm, blues, jazz, and soul scene.
Composing and producing for over 50 years, Toussaint’s beats still permeate through New Orleans. His music has been an inspiration for decades, as the Foo Fighters detail in an episode of HBO’s Sonic Highways.
Without Toussaint, there would be no Lady Marmalade. Boz Scaggs, John Mayall, Dr. John, The Yardbirds. Those are just a few of the artists Toussaint has collaborated with.
Without Toussaint, New Orleans probably wouldn’t be the funky New Orleans we know it as.
Toussaint, 76, has understandably slowed down his production the last couple of decades. But he’s remained a mentor and an inspiration for musics all over the world.
Toussaint’s reach extends all the way to Glasgow, Scotland, where the MermaidS, a very dope production outfit that you probably haven’t heard of, have re-interpreted one of Toussaint’s classics: Night People.
I had never heard the original or really grasped Toussaint’s importance until stumbling across this edit a few days ago. It’s a worthy tribute, and just another way that the legend of Toussaint will continue to live on: