Nonesuch Records will release a new album by Allen Toussaint sometime in 2016. The label issued a statement in conjunction with the album’s producer, Joe Henry, who previously produced Toussaint’s Grammy-nominated 2009 release, “The Bright Mississippi.”
Toussaint, 77, died of a heart attack on Nov. 10 following a concert in Madrid, Spain.
In the statement from Henry and Nonesuch, the producer described the most recent sessions for the upcoming album:
“Joining Allen over four days this past October in a Hollywood studio were the rhythm section of Jay Bellerose and David Piltch joined by other masters of understated invention — guitarist Bill Frisell; legendary tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd; multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz; the luminous singer Rhiannon Giddens; and the irrepressible composer/arranger/pianist Van Dyke Parks, who had a long friendship and collaborative relationship with Allen dating back to the early 1970s.”
“I have been working with Allen Toussaint — under his spell and subject to his influence — for a full decade now. He was a quiet radical, musically-speaking, and a prince of great humility. In listening to all of the recordings these past days, reeling from the shock of his sudden death, it has meant so much to feel Allen’s spirit, vibrant and undiminished. Allen’s family, our friends at Nonesuch, and I look forward to sharing the music with the world.”
In a 2009 interview with The Advocate, Toussaint graciously complimented Henry’s work for the “The Bright Mississippi.”
“He’s a wonderful, gentleman producer,” Toussaint said. “He’s a calm guy but he has zeal for the music and he communicates in such a way that everyone feels good about what they are there to do.”
The many hits written and/or produced by New Orleans songwriter, producer and pianist Toussaint include Glen Campbell’s “Southern Nights,” Lee Dorsey’s “Working in the Coalmine,” Ernie K-Doe’s “Mother-In-Law” and Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade.” He also worked with Aaron Neville, Paul McCartney, The Band, Eric Clapton and dozens more.