The Grammy Awards will be presented tonight. Every year, it is safe say that music-wise, whether it’s jazz, blues, gospel, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, hip-hop, rap, well, you get the idea, there will be some musical notion from the street of New Orleans mixed in.
In recent years, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Lil Wayne, and Terence Blanchard have picked up Grammy Awards. But this year, with the exception of the Zydeco and Cajun category, New Orleans-area musicians are rather scarce among the nominees.
In spite of this, I’ll be watching to see if producer, composer, arranger, pianist, singer Allen Toussaint can score his first Grammy. Toussaint has produced acts like Irma Thomas, Ernie K-Doe, Lee Dorsey, and Meters. Others like Glen Campbell and the Pointer Sisters has had megahits with songs such as “Southern Nights” and “Yes We Can,” respectively. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the 72 year-old, with a long and distinguished musical career, has yet to win a Grammy. That could change tonight with his first jazz album “The Bright Mississippi.”
In it, Toussaint applied his experienced producer’s chops and R & B infused piano to more traditional tunes. And the result is fresh and original. Well-deserved recognition for trying something new. And while Toussaint has decided not make the trip to Los Angeles, it’s high time for him to be able to put a Grammy Award on his mantelpiece back home.
Follow-up: Chick Corea and John McLaughlin Five Piece Band bested Allen Toussaint for best jazz instrumental band. However, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra won for best large jazz ensemble, and Buckwheat Zydeco garnered best Zyedco and Cajun cd for “Lay Your Burden Down.”