Allen Toussaint and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band Team Up for Energetic Performance

Concert Review

click to enlarge ANNIE ZALESKI
Annie Zaleski
Last night, Allen Toussaint and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band brought their New Orleans sound to the sold out Music Box Supper Club in the Flats. The PHJB was founded in 1963 to provide a playing opportunity for out-of-work jazz musicians. They’ve had many members over the years and the musicians in the band now are outstanding performers. The 90-minute show began with a PHJB set highlighted by "Mardi Gras." The crowd was energized from the start.

Seventy-six-year-old Allen Toussaint, dressed in orange pants and a green jeweled jacket, then joined the stage and played his hit “Working in A Coal Mine” and then what he described as "the most covered song in history" “Get Out Of My Life.” Next, Allen played “Mr. Mardi Gras” and tossed parade souvenirs into the crowd during the song.The PHJB then left the stage and Toussaint slowed the tempo for a few songs including a sing along version of “The City of New Orleans” made famous by Arlo Guthrie. The PHJB then rejoined the show and got the crowd swaying to the beat during “Didn't He Ramble” featuring vocals by Mark Braud. Braud brought the crowd to their feet during his trumpet solo in the middle of “That's It.” Toussaint then went right into “Southern Nights.” The performers returned to the stage for a rousing encore featuring the vocals of Ronell Johnson. Johnson had up until then spent most of the evening dancing on the stage while playing the sousaphone tuba. The crowd was into the whole show and gave the performers several standing ovations for their efforts. The Music Box Supper Club served as a great venue for this performance and if you haven't seen a show there you need to check it out.
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