Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm surprised he's still called "Shorty";

I'm surprised he's still called "Shorty"; I'm not surprised to see him interviewed on cnn.com.

As part of a feature on New Orleans's annual jazz festival, CNN.com has posted an interview with Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, a New Orleans jazz musician who is today what Jason Marsalis was ten years ago when I moved to the city: the wunderkind who seems to be everywhere and working with everyone.

I caught a very early gig of his at the Maple Leaf in the spring of 2002. (It was early enough that at the beginning of the show, the audience consisted myself and of a few of my friends, there on a whim, and "Shorty"'s brother Jason Andrews.) He and his bandmates were quite good for high-school students. The riffs were all hackneyed, and the improvisation less daring than that of older players, but they played tightly and knew how to structure a show. I've seen the name tossed around the Internet in the last few years--it seemed that the kid stuck around--but, having left New Orleans in 2003, I haven't heard any of the music. Everyone talks about how much they love New Orleans-style jazz, but nobody seems to give it any time on the radio. After reading the CNN piece, I'm inclined to look for a recording or two.

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