What Is Success: The Sceptor And Bell Recordings

What Is Success: The Sceptor And Bell Recordings

by Allen ToussaintAllen Toussaint


$13.66 $13.99 Save 2% Current price is $13.66, Original price is $13.99. You Save 2%.
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


Leave it to the chaps over at the U.K.-based Ace Records reissue subsidiary Kent Soul to create the first comprehensive Allen Toussaint anthology covering his late-'60s/early-'70s output. While the Allen Toussaint (1970) long-player has been on CD before, What Is Success: The Scepter & Bell Recordings (2007) offers up a handful of rare 45 rpm sides that are making their digital debut on this 17-track compilation. Perhaps owing to their very scarcity, the Bell Records singles "Get out of My Life, Woman" b/w "Gotta Travel On," "I've Got That Feelin' Now" b/w "Hands Christianderson," and "We the People" b/w "Tequila" have actually been mastered from vinyl (rather than tape) sources. While surface noise is audible throughout, each of the selections is thoroughly listenable, thanks to Rob Shread's effective audio restorations. The core content surrounds the nearly dozen tunes that the artist initially cut in 1969 for what would become his second solo album -- alternately known as either Allen Toussaint (1970) or From a Whisper to a Scream (1971). Allen Toussaint (piano/vocals) is supported by his Crescent City soul mates Mac Rebennack (organ/guitar) (aka Dr. John), Terry Kellman (guitar), Eddie Hohner (bass), Freddie Staehle (drums), John Boudreaux (drums), Clyde Kerr (trumpet), Earl Turbinton (alto sax), as well as the respective super lungs of the dynamic studio session duo Merry Clayton (backing vocals) and Venetta Fields. As the material is presented without regard to chronology, it is more difficult for modern listeners to chart Toussaint's stylistic progress. That said -- with nearly two decades as a contributor in and around the Nola-based R&B scene under his belt -- it would seem that he had long reached his full potential. The stylistic breadth is beyond impressive, especially the instrumentals, as they range from the empathetic reading of Vince Guaraldi's "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" to the mini-masterpiece "Pickles" or the upbeat gospel-flavored soul stepper "Hands Christianderson." Equally appealing are Toussaint's take on songs initially made famous by others, such as "What Is Success," which Bonnie Raitt would interpret to considerable note. Plus, the Lee Dorsey hits "Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky," "Working in the Coalmine," and "Get out of My Life Woman." The latter was likewise introduced to an entirely different audience via the Jerry Garcia Band's long and often winding live performances. The liner booklet has an informative bio/essay from compiler Tony Rounce, and reproductions of the original LP and 45 rpm labels for an added touch of authenticity aimed at collectors and enthusiasts.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/30/2007
Label: Kent Records Uk
UPC: 0029667228626
catalogNumber: 286
Rank: 33673

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Allen Toussaint   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
Earl Turbinton   Alto Saxophone
John Boudreaux   Drums
Merry Clayton   Background Vocals
Ed Greene   Drums
Eddie Hohner   Bass
Terry Kellman   Guitar
Clyde Kerr   Trumpet
Fred Staehle   Drums
Dr. John   Organ,Guitar

Technical Credits

Paul Clayton   Composer
Vince Guaraldi   Composer
Ronnie Gilbert   Composer
Lee Hays   Composer
Fred Hellerman   Composer
Harlan Howard   Composer
Chuck Rio   Composer
Allen Toussaint   Composer
Tony Rounce   Liner Notes
Larry Ehrlich   Composer
Seeger, Petersen + Marsalis   Composer

Customer Reviews