First Listen

Honoring a New Orleans Musical Legend

A new album pays tribute to the late Allen Toussaint

Photo: Glade Bilby II, courtesy of the artist

When the Godfather goes down, it’s time to pay respect. So, when the legendary jazz pianist, soul music producer, and New Orleans music icon Allen Toussaint passed away suddenly in late 2015, that’s exactly what Stanton Moore did. The Galactic drummer had just started working on a new album with his namesake trio, which includes keyboardist David Torkanowsky and bassist James Singleton, but felt compelled instead to honor Toussaint and his monumental influence—both on himself and the entire Big Easy community.

The resulting With You in Mind: The Songs of Allen Toussaint is a fitting tribute to the legend, not a rehash of Toussaint’s songs, but reworking them from the ground up by calling in the likes of Maceo Parker, Trombone Shorty, and Cyril Neville, who ended up singing on five of the album’s ten tracks. For “Java,” Moore brought in a brass section of heavy hitters with Shorty joined by saxophonist Donald Harrison, Jr. and trumpeter Nicholas Payton, who engage in exuberant back and forth that crackles with a sizzling energy that could only come from New Orleans. Toussaint would be proud. Garden & Gun is thrilled to premiere “Java” ahead of the July 21 release of the full album.