Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
The River in Reverse
You know it's hard to tell these days whether Elvis Costello is a prolific genius or if he's just spread too thin. Give the man credit: whatever he’s doing, he's workin' hard at it. In recent months there’s been a live album with a 52 piece orchestra that recast many of his hits and came with a bonus disc of his orchestral suite Il Sogno..
Now, inspired by the travails of New Orleans, DMc and longtime Crescent City musical treasure Allen Toussaint, take on the Toussaint songbook and score a joyous, funky triumph. One listen to Costello's forceful vocal performance of "Tears, Tears and More Tears" with his band The Imposters seamlessly combined with Toussaint's Crescent City Horns and you're convinced. Toussaint's stretching out vocally on "Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?" shows again truly what a master he is. Two songwriting collaborations between the two work well and Toussaint's minor chord rearrangement of Fess’ "Tipitina", here renamed, "Ascension Day" is both respectful and new. All star collaborations rarely work out this well.