As always for Jazz Fest, Allen Toussaint assembled a big band of singers and horn players to present a jukebox of songs from his decades as one of New Orleans’ most influential songwriters and producers.
He didn’t waste time either. As one song ended, the other kicked to life: “Mother in Law,” “A Certain Girl,” “What Would You Want the Girl To Do” and others rose with grandeur due to the rich arrangements of vocals and brass.
Toussaint held center court at a baby grand piano decked in an aqua and green jacket glittering in the sun. He made note of the long cast of characters who have recorded his songs including one he said was unexpected: the Grateful Dead.
“I’m a Deadhead!”he said.