“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





11 November 2015


Allen Toussaint, at Dr Bob de Bellevue's monthly wine dinner in New Orleans, 2012 ...  photo Milton Wordley, froA year in the life of Grange.

Allen, a true jazz funk genius, died after suffering two heart attacks in Spain yesterday - at 77 years of age he'd just played his last gig in Madrid. 

He'd only just finished work on his next album, due early next year.

A beloved favourite since my rock'n'roll days in the 'seventies, Allen was a great ambassador for funky soulful jazz and New Orleans, and like Dr Bob (centre) and his partner Julie (at his left) he loved top-flight Australian reds - they regularly shared great vintages of Grange. 

I sat up all night last night, blubbering, watching the tributes come flooding in from every corner of the Earth while listening to the good folks remember him tearfully on the breakfast show on my favourite station, New Orleans community radio WWOZ 90.7 FM

One of the first tributes on the net was this one from the Stones, who showed early respect by recording his Pain In My Heart away back on their second album. 

Apart from his own remarkable recordings and thousands of performances, many with bands little known in Australia at the time - typically, we simply didn't get to hear much black American music - Allen did great work arranging horns for The Band (Rock of Ages, Cahoots, The Last Waltz) and was a close friend and big influence on Lowell George and Little Feat, amongst many other greats better known in Australia. Paul McCartney insisted on recording in his SeaSaint Studio. 

Allen hints at his love of wine On your way down, which the Feat played brilliantly. Milton and his partner, Anne Marie were lucky to dine with Allen and co when they revisited New Orleans early this year for the Jazz Festival. For more of Milt's brilliant photographs of NOLA and the festival, check his blog

One king-hell New Orleans funeral coming right up!

Here's Allen at the piano with The Flamingos:

PS: Hey Brother T, I'm listening round the clock to every recording I have of yours, random, drinking deep a Wendouree Cabernet 13, dumb with the knowledge you died before Dr Bob got to share one with you. I once told the Doc that you were the master of the gossamer glissando and immediately realised I failed to praise THE FUNK. Sleep deep, sweet Mon.

And here's a link to his funeral.

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