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Allen Toussaint Allen Toussaint
Album: Live 1989 Chicago Blues Festival
Label: Floating World
Tracks: 11

In this recording of Allen Toussaint at the Chicago Blues Festival he's fronting a big band and runs through a blistering set featuring some of best known hits.

You'll find A Certain Girl, as covered by The Yardbirds, Shoorah Shoorah and Brickyard Blues.

While the sound is not up to a studio recording, this is an excellent live recording in front of an enthusiastic audience.

There is a wide range of styles such as the soulful All these Things and the up-tempo Rockin' Pneumonia.

The New Orleans big band is in top form, with great brass and backing singers, who ably support the twinkling ivories.

There is some marvellous guitar work on Who's Minding the Store as well superb sax throughout.

The shortest track on the album is With You In Mind which blends into Southern Nights.

The final track Fun Time does give a name check to many of the band but the only niggle is there isn't a list of all the great musicians who feature on this album in the sleeve notes.

This is a classy album of songs which sees Allen in top form and is a feast for anyone who loves Big Band music.

John Knighton