Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Parking Lot Symphony

Blue Note

Parking Lot Symphony is Trombone Shorty’s debut recording for the legendary Blue Note label. The label has been putting out records by jazz giants since 1939. Parking Lot Symphony fits into the Blue Note legacy not as a staid reminder of a storied tradition, but as a reminder that the great jazz masters of the past were popular musicians. People danced at concerts and put on the records at parties. With Orleans Avenue, Trombone Shorty (Troy Andrews) brings the party to the street.

Parking Lot Symphony shows off Andrews all-encompassing passion for what the Art Ensemble of Chicago called “Great Black Music, Ancient to Future.” The program starts off with an instrumental, “Leveau Dirge No. 1”, that name checks the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans and the trumpet prowess of Louis Armstrong. “It Ain’t No Use” shifts us to a grooving funk tune about the sometimes ambiguous nature of love. The tune talks about wanting to leave a relationship and not wanting to leave at the same time. It feels as fresh as your buddy’s latest Facebook post, but it ‘s actually a cover of a Meters tune.

The song “Parking Lot Symphony” is a slick pop song complete with sweet strings and hand claps. It’s squarely in the tradition of ’70s hit makers like Earth Wind and Fire. On the other hand, “Familiar” is a fun tune that plays with socially awkward situation of running into someone you think you know, but maybe don’t. “She says she don’t know me, that girl looks familiar.” It has spoken-sung vocals straight out of hip-hop paired with martial parade drums and huge riffing horns. The flow of the words is blocked by the jagged start and stop horn blasts that are a musical counterpart to the girls blocking the guy’s moves. The next tune, “No Good Time”,a slow bluesy ballad gets philosophical about romantic setbacks. Troy sings, “from now on I’m going to try to be wrong a little less,” and concludes that “nobody never learned nothing from no good times.”

Not to fear, “Here Come The Girls”, gives the dudes an anthem for their nights on the town. It’s an adoring ode to womankind set to a hard funk groove with a semi-rapped lyric. This Allen Toussaint penned tune is a show stopper in concert and a highlight of the album. The instrumentals are mostly high-energy workouts.

The album ends with “Laveau Dirge Finale” that takes the mournful lament and infuses it with hope. It’s a reflection of the traditional New Orleans funeral where the band plays solemn music on the way to the cemetery and joyous music on the parade home. Andrews is very aware of being a guardian of New Orleans musical heritage in the same way the Neville Brothers and Dr. John did before him. It’s a living tradition that repects the past while making room for the new. It’s the tradition of great black music, ancient to future.

www.bluenote.com www.tromboneshorty.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples
    Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

From the Archives