• Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Release Date: Apr 21, 2009
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. It defines vicinity so broadly that you'll also find Beiderbecke and Reinhardt, two Ellington tunes, songs by a jazz critic and Ed Sullivan's bandleader.
  2. Upon the first listen, The Bright Mississippi merely seems like a joyous good time, but subsequent spins focus attention on just how rich and multi-layered this wonderful music is.
  3. The inspiring combination lifts the album far beyond tribute material into sonic territory all its own.
  4. The applause will only grow louder with the release of The Bright Mississippi. It’s quite simply one of the best albums we’ll hear in 2009.
  5. Allen Toussaint’s The Bright Mississippi offers a look backward at our music’s roots, but it does so with a keen consciousness of both modern jazz and rhythm-and-blues.
  6. Like New Orleans itself, the album understands how to strut. But it also knows its manners. For all his funky pedigree, Toussaint comes off as a picture of elegance.
  7. His piano versions of standards such as Winin' Boy Blues show that the funk was always in the Big Easy's blood.
  8. Toussaint gives each of the instruments room to explore, breaking free of the structure of the song and marking it with his own distinctive stamp. It's this loose, spirited mood that makes the album's interpretations so smooth and effective.
  9. It’s a producer’s record. And it works, possibly because Mr. Toussaint is no pushover.
  10. Mojo
    80
    Jazz albums don't come much better. [May 2009, p.101]
  11. The results are coolly sophisticated, an unfussy, mostly instrumental set of slink-and-slide joints shot through with a harmonic imagination that turns even a traditional hymn into an after-hours swing.
  12. Uncut
    80
    There is sleaze here and funeral swing, and sass to spare. [Jun 2009, p.105]
  13. The results are both pure Ellington ('Day Dream') and Monk ('Bright Mississippi'), as well as pure Toussaint, emotionally and structurally expansive, yet as keenly done as one of Toussaint's perfectly knotted ties.
  14. Piano patriarch evacuates the Big Easy for the Big Apple, where like-minded sessionistas young (Nicholas Payton) and old (Marc Ribot) mean Ellington standard 'Day Dream' almost doesn't miss Johnny Hodges and closer 'Solitude' compliments Dr. John's inspired Duke Elegant.
  15. Q Magazine
    60
    He's a terrific piano player, a gift put to exquisite use on this collection of old jazz standards. [Jun 2009, p.132]

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. May 2, 2012
    9
    This is a great album because of its mix of traditional and modern approaches to the new orleans jazz idiom. Really swings and smokesThis is a great album because of its mix of traditional and modern approaches to the new orleans jazz idiom. Really swings and smokes throughout and is just plain fun to listen to. Full Review »
  2. MarkS
    Jun 21, 2009
    9
    My honey and I honeymooned in New Orleans, and we recently purchased this CD, and it sounded so good as we drove around in the rain.
  3. BradleyP
    May 14, 2009
    10
    I don't give out 10s very easily, but this is simply one of the most joyous and listenable jazz recordings I have heard in many years. I don't give out 10s very easily, but this is simply one of the most joyous and listenable jazz recordings I have heard in many years. Fantastic nuance, gorgeous tone, delicious interplay and above all impeccable taste. Repeat listens just give more and more, and it doesn't get better than that. Toussaint has assembled an all-star cast, but it is his vision, his history and his gigantic piano sound that steers this album. If I'd seen this performed live, I could die a happy man right on the spot. Full Review »