"Hey Pocky A-Way" - Fred Wesley
The Long Winters bandleader John Roderick suggested on his podcast that the Wikipedia page for Allen Toussaint could be taught as a history course of American music, concluding that Toussaint’s vast influence was apparent throughout seemingly unrelated generations. The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game for movies is more like the One-or-Two Degrees of Allen Toussaint with music.
Meanwhile, I was listening one morning to WWOZ New Orleans community radio, where Allen Toussaint is celebrated as often as Louis Armstrong, and I heard the trademark sound of trombonist Fred Wesley. I found myself singing along with his solo, yet I hadn't recalled ever hearing this version before of The Meters' tune “Hey Pocky A-Way." Thus, my inquisitive nature had to put the pieces together to solve this musical mystery. Who is this?!
Idris Muhammad was a New Orleans drummer on the same level of cultural significance as Allen Toussaint; he’s either played behind everybody or has influenced everyone else. Perhaps he was the Clyde Stubblefield of New Orleans in that his playing was often sampled many times, for instance on the Beastie Boys album, Check Your Head. And to tie up all the historical loose ends, “Hey Pocky A-Way” was originally produced by Allen Toussaint.
Recommended reading: How to Make It in the New Music Business by Ari Herstand. Published by Liveright Publishing.