Now Magazine, June 1, 2006

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The River In Reverse (Verve Forecast)

Rating: NNNN

The original concept was for retro-soul producer Joe Henry to record a style album with New Orleans songwriter/producer/ pianist Allen Toussaint to update his stellar back catalogue for those who might not be familiar with his impressive body of work. But then Katrina hit town, followed by Elvis Costello, and somehow Toussaint wound up becoming a bit player in his own show. But a powerful musical force like Toussaint isn't easily swept aside, so even though Costello takes top billing and the lead vocals on this collaborative session, it's Toussaint's soulful songs and naturally funky grooves that make this unlikely pairing work almost in spite of Costello's overbearing presence. I'd much rather hear Toussaint singing these songs himself.

Tim Perlich


JUNE 1 - 7, 2006

VOL. 25 NO. 40