The Music: Trombone Shorty ft Lenny Kravitz – Something Beautiful

There’s something truly great about finding a new artist to enjoy as we head towards summer. Especially when that artist is a talented jazz musician like Trombone Shorty.

The official blurb about Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews and his new album Backatown reads:

The album title comes from the locals’ term for the area of New Orleans that includes the Tremé [pronounced Tre-MAY] neighborhood in the city’s 6th Ward, where Troy was born and raised—getting his nickname at four years old when he was observed by his older brother James marching in a street parade wielding a trombone twice as long as the kid was high. The cultural backdrop of the Tremé—the oldest black neighborhood in the U.S.—is at the very root of Troy’s music, on top of which he’s built his own sound. The streetwise, gritty feel of the term underscores the difference between the stereotype of the New Orleans jazz musician and what this audacious young artist and his cohorts are going for, and pulling off.

Well in my opinion he’s definitely pulling it off as I’m loving this first single from his new album, Something Beautiful featuring Lenny Kravitz.

Here’s a few more things Trombone Shorty has had to say about himself and his music…

About the making the record:

“We just banged a bunch of things out to see how they could work. We weren’t afraid to approach a bunch of different musical styles—rock music, R&B, whatever—just because there’s a horn in front. We just did what we do, and over time we developed something fresh. Making this record was a learning experience for us because, for the earlier records, we did them in like three days; this time we stayed in there for months in between tour dates, writing, picking things apart and reconstructing them.”

About his plans:

“Jazz musicians can be close-minded,” he says, “and I didn’t want to be one of those musicians that kept recycling things that had been done already, because then I wouldn’t be able to grow. The sound of the group just developed naturally out of everybody’s personal taste. Coming from the Tremé, all I knew was fun music and dancing, so I wanted to be able to get back to that with this band and take it to another level. I always wanted to play in front of my peers, and to do something that would keep me interested as well as keeping the audience interested.”

About touring with Lenny Kravitz:

“It was a mind-opening experience because coming from jazz I was doing a lot of improvising, and with him I learned to play songs just like the record, which you need great discipline for. When I brought that discipline back to the band, everything took off from there. Also, from seeing my idol control 15-16,000 people every night in arenas, I was able to take that approach and apply it to my own performances.”

About releasing Backatown:

“This is a dream come true,” Troy says of the anticipation building in hip circles for the release of Backatown. “I’m super-excited about this record, and I can’t wait for people to hear it—because this record is the defining moment of our sound.”

Backatown is out now and you can also get your copy of Something Beautiful on iTunes

Amongst many other things, I'm a 30-something contemplative Londoner making the daily commute between contentment and ambition.When not blogging, I'm using my talents for good as communications director at Gingerland and co-founder of Love Harlem.

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