Trombone Shorty – Parking Lot Symphony (2017)

Trombone Shorty - Parking Lot Symphony (2017)
Artist: Trombone Shorty
Album: Parking Lot Symphony
Genre: Soul / R&B
Origin: USA
Released: 2017
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Tracklist:
Laveau Dirge No. 1
It Ain’t No Use
Parking Lot Symphony
Dirty Water
Here Come the Girls
Tripped-Out Slim
Familiar
No Good Time
Where It At?
Fanfare
Like a Dog
Laveau Dirge Finale

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Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews is the kind of player that’s taken Duke Ellington’s philosophy of genres truly to heart—the outlook that “there are two kinds of music, good music and the other kind.” His jazz and New Orleans roots run throughout most everything he does, though they often share equal space with modern rhythm and/or blues, pop, hip-hop and anything else that gets hips shaking. Guests from the rock and roll world (Lenny Kravitz, Warren Haynes, Jeff Beck or Kid Rock) have been welcome on his recordings just as much as his hometown’s icon Allen Toussaint. It’s not an easy job to describe things in genre terms without running down a whole checklist. To Mr. Shorty (ahem) and friends, though, it’s simply good stuff.

The pattern got a slight tweak with Say That to Say This (Verve, 2013), where the emphasis was squarely on R&B and funk far and beyond the other elements. This time he returns to the wider melting-pot approach with his Blue Note debut Parking Lot Symphony, complete with a prelude and epilogue that add the spirit of a N’awlins funeral with a little classical touch. In between, the album mostly seesaws back and forth between rowdy street-parade horns and radio-friendly tunes with slick beats and smart arrangements.

Andrews finds a sweet spot between those poles in the more successful moments, such as a take on Toussaint’s “Here Come the Girls” that bangs as well as it swings. “Tripped Out Slim” and “Where It At” likewise funk up the horns in most delightful fashion. At other times it can feel like one extreme or the other; the snaky “Familiar” practically begs for a glitzy video filled with black leather and bling, while “No Good Time” and “It Ain’t No Use” are all smooth-edged soul.

If it sounds like there’s a touch of schizophrenia or tonal whiplash, Andrews would probably be the first to tell you you’re thinking about it wrong. It’s all just music. A purist might prefer a rawer as-is performance rather than the layered patchworks of his studio albums (and a recording of the live Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue experience would indeed be a real delight). Then again, this clearly isn’t music for purists anyway. It’s for any listeners ready to celebrate life and togetherness, and Parking Lot Symphony again brings the party with swagger to spare.
By GENO THACKARA

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