Trombone Shorty – For True
September 13, 2011
By Grant Britt
If you just stumbled across this stuff, you’d think it was Lenny Kravitz in the kitchen rattling the pots and pans. Although New Orleans’ Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews’ music gets lumped into the brass band category, on his second offering, For True, the trumpeter/trombonist whips up a smokin’ gumbo with a batch of funk and soul ingredients with help from Kravitz, along with Jeff Beck, Ledisi, Kid Rock, Warren Haynes, and Ivan and Cyril Neville.
Andrews funks his way through “ Nervis Way,” sounding like a Bitches Brew era Miles Davis. Ledisi rips the roof off the joint with her soulful ballad “Then There Was You,” old school r&b that leaps from the speakers. The hip-hop flavored “Buckjump” has plenty of N’awleans brass courtesy of a guest shot by Rebirth. “Mrs Orleans ” may be the most tasteful performance Kid Rock has ever turned in. “Encore” with a southern fried solo from Warren Haynes sounds more like Prince than Shorty. “Roses” also sounds Princely despite a guest appearance by Kravitz.
As good as they are, many of the cuts feel like they were carved off a larger chunk .That’s not a bad thing- it just makes you want to go get that larger serving when you see him live. His band of young improvisers passes each piece around, trying it on for size, and with Shorty’s proficiency on both trumpet and trombone, you get a lot on your plate. Just like his resilient Treme neighborhood, Andrews’ sound reflects the best of the past and the future of the city’s multicultural musical heritage.