TEST SPIN: Allen Toussaint — American Tunes, Robert Glasper — Everything’s Beautiful

In late May, Robert Glasper released his Miles Davis tribute album Everything’s Beautiful, and several weeks later Nonesuch Records issued the late Allen Toussaint’s American Tunes. Glasper and Toussaint are both prolific jazz pianists, and the two albums are distinct depictions of their creators’ vastly differing musical styles. Yet, American Tunes and Everything’s Beautiful share a complementary sense of profundity in their thematic questions and inspirations. In American Tunes, Allen Toussaint explores a number of styles that exist within jazz and covers songs by various other influential artists, including Duke Ellington and Bill Evans. The first two tracks of the album, “Delores’ Boyfriend” and “Viper’s Drag,” are jovial, possessing a New Orleans Jazz quality.