The Bright Mississippi

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The Bright Mississippi
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 21, 2009
RecordedMarch 19–22, 2008
GenreBlues, R&B, jazz
ProducerJoe Henry
Allen Toussaint chronology
The River in Reverse, with Elvis Costello
The Bright Mississippi

The Bright Mississippi is an album by New Orleans Jazz and R&B pianist Allen Toussaint released on Nonesuch Records in 2009.


The album was produced by Joe Henry and features various guest artists, including Brad Mehldau, Joshua Redman and Nicholas Payton. The album title is taken from the 1963 Thelonious Monk song of the same name and features a new version of the song. The album is a unique juxtaposition of modern and traditional jazz tunes with stylistic cues drawn from both worlds. In an interview shortly after it was released, Nick Spitzer noted that "there's a parade beat to it, a bit of a strut and shuffle. Are you merging the worlds of Monk and Toussaint?” “Well, there's no way around that,” Toussaint replied.[1]

Though mostly known for R&B, this is Toussaint's second jazz album. The first was Allen Toussaint's Jazzity Project: Going Places, released online through cdbaby in 2004.


Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave it a very favorable review on Allmusic, saying it "stands alone among Toussaint albums".[2]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau(A-)[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Egyptian Fantasy" (Sidney Bechet, John Reid) – 4:41
  2. "Dear Old Southland" (Raymond Bloch) – 6:19
  3. "St. James Infirmary" (Traditional) – 3:52
  4. "Singin’ the Blues" (Con Conrad, J. Russel Robinson) – 5:40
  5. "Whinin’ Boy Blues" (Jelly Roll Morton) – 6:42
  6. "West End Blues" (Joe Oliver, Clarence Williams) – 3:52
  7. "Blue Drag" (Django Reinhardt) – 4:22
  8. "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" (Traditional) – 5:11
  9. "Bright Mississippi" (Thelonious Monk) – 5:08
  10. "Day Dream" (Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn) – 5:27
  11. "Long, Long Journey" (Leonard Feather) – 4:51
  12. "Solitude" (Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Eddie DeLange) – 5:31[5]



  1. ^ Toussaint, Allen (26 Aug 2009). "Saints Alive: After the Storm XI". National Public Radio. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Bright Mississippi". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  3. ^ The Bright Mississippi
  4. ^ CG: Allen Toussaint
  5. ^ "Allen Toussaint's The Bright Mississippi". Nonesuch Records Catalogue. Nonesuch Records. Retrieved 7 May 2012.