By Andy J. Gordon
If he wants to, Troy Andrews can take over the universe. Ok, maybe that is an exaggeration, but with his talent and charisma, Trombone Shorty, as he is more commonly known, can, at least, rule the music world. His band, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave. (www.tromboneshorty.com) came to Los Angeles for a Wagatail Productions (www.wagatailpresents.com) show at the El Rey Theater. The music was infectious, the crowd mesmerized, and Shorty clearly loved every minute.
Troy Andrews, 24, has been playing in front of audiences since he was four years old. He is a third generation musician from a family that calls the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans its home. His nickname, Trombone Shorty, came from older brother James, a well respected bandleader and trumpeter. Troy was toting around his trombone when it was bigger than he was. He has since grown up, and after years of honing his skills, first with his talented family, and later within the New Orleans music scene, he has become a world class performer. At 19, Shorty did a world tour with Lenny Kravitz, and later performed with U2 and Green Day during the re-opening of the New Orleans Superdome. His brilliance on both trombone and trumpet may be unsurpassed. Those skills alone would make him a huge attraction, but in recent years, he has developed a pleasant singing style and incredible stage presence. With a supporting band of highly skilled musicians that perform music they describe as “Supafunkrock”, a Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave. concert is a rare treat.
The El Rey show contained both new and old material. The band has a new album, “Backatown,” its first with a major label, Verve Forecast/Universal. Songs like “Suburbia”, and “Something Beautiful” combine Shorty’s horn excellence with a danceable beat. Covers like The Guess Who’s “American Woman,” Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” and Rebirth’s “I Feel Like Funkin’ It Up” really got the audience hopping. The end of the show included a tease of “Shout,” Cab Calloway’s “Hi De Ho,” and a couple of trumpet solos that were simply amazing. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave. offer a great live show with a mix of music that gets everyone dancing, and showcases Troy Andrew’s amazing talent. This child prodigy, turned entertainment phenomenon, should get a lot of attention now and in the future.
Photos courtesy of Brigitte Bard.