When The Party’s Over

Allen Toussaint is New Orleans’ music royalty.  Back in the day, he worked with pretty much every big figure in the city’s blues, soul, and funk scenes — the Meters, Lee Dorsey, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, etc.  Just as his work arranging, producing, and writing spanned a variety of musical genres, Toussaint’s solo output easily jumped and combined different types of music.  In the first half of the 70s, he put out three excellent albums, my favorite of which is Southern Nights from 1975.  It’s a short, sweet 34 minutes, and there’s not a bad song on it.  It manages to maintain a highly appealing, loose, rollicking funkiness, sometimes sounding like a companion to the Band’s second album, The Band, from six years earlier.  Towards the end of Southern Nights comes “When The Party’s Over,” probably the best song on the record.  With its simple bass groove and long descending piano runs, it doesn’t seem like the kind of song that ends a party.

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