Sunday, April 23, 2017

Trombone Shorty

In contrast to the more traditional sounds of Treme and Algiers, Trombone Shorty is perhaps an artist best known for taking the New Orleans style genre and turning it on its head. While this is not a brass band in the traditional sense I think it's important to point out where Trombone Shorty and his backing band, Orleans Avenue, came from musically and how the mostly hip-hop and jazz music they perform relates back to the more traditional style of brass band music.

According to his website bio page, Trombone Shorty, Troy Andrews, grew up in New Orleans playing in brass bands and attended the prestigious New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts high school where he received formal training. I think that part of his history helps to put his more recent music in perspective as an evolution of the brass band style.

While his most recent release, No Good Time, bares little resemblance to brass band or traditional music the song, Quiet and Kept, off his 2010 album Backatown demonstrates the musical heritage that he came up in.

I enjoy the way this track captures elements of the brass band sound such as group improvisation and second line beats while also bringing in more popular elements such as guitar and other electronic manipulation. I believe music like this is important for connecting the genre as it existed in the past to what it needs to become to stay commercially viable in the current age of hip-hop.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to see you covered Trombone Shorty. I actually thought of adding him into my own blog because he does play at EDM festivals, but he doesn't do much in the realm of electronics and is mainly a solo artist. I really appreciate that he is in fact a pop artist and is proving that brass instruments can be effectively used in popular music.