The trombone is perhaps the only brass instrument that canif well playedcapture a devastating array of human emotions. It can be made to wail plaintively and growl menacingly. It can be played to sing and make extraordinary leaps of joy, even evoke hallelujahs and other spiritual epiphanies with breathtaking abandon. But it must be played with mastery and few do so better than Roswell Rudd, a musician and instrumentalist who consistently describes the sorrows and joys of human existence every time he picks up his trombone and plays. Moreover, every time Rudd plays he appears to connect the metaphorical dots of musical historynot merely in the idiom of jazz, but even beyond that from the world of so-called classical music.
It appears that music flows through Rudd, coursing through his veins and flowering his breath as it twists through the 14 feet of brass tubing and out that bell at the end of his chosen instrument. On Trombone Tribe, Roswell Rudd is, once again, on top of his game. He has created a series of songs that traverse myriad geographies, bubbling over through the soul of the vast human Diasporafrom Africaas in "Fanfare," that is crafted and performed with unforgettable passion by the Gangbe Brass Band, to New Orleans in the minor march, "Hulla Gulla" and back again in the spacey, orbital "Bone Again With Bonerama."
His stellar rompsthrough guttural yowls and growlsin "Astro Slyde," "Sand In My Slide Shuffle," and "Slide and the Family Bone" are impossible to listen to without the irrepressible urge to leap up and dance. "Elton Dean," the sketch of the fabled English trombonist, breaks fresh ground in the realm of jazz odes. "Twelve Bars with Sexmob" is a wildly funny and magnificent exchange with an exciting group of musicians who push the envelope in funky territory. And the suite, "A Place Above" revisits the vibrant praise and worship that can only be found in the unabashed and total communion of an African church.
Rudd would be the first to deflect attention from himself and allow the stellar cast of musicians to bask in the bright glory of Trombone Tribe, and justifiably so. "Bonerama" is a case in point, where the empathetic exchanges between the trombones, drums and guitar are almost telepathic, as is the work of almost every other musician grouping in the record, be it Ray Anderson, Wycliffe Gordon, Eddie Bert, Josh Roseman and others on "Astro Slyde" and "Hulla Gulla," or Rudd, Deborah Weisz and Steve Swell with bassist Henry Grimes' unparalleled arco break on "Sand In My Slide Shuffle" and tubaist Bob Stewart and drummer Barry Altschul on "No End" and "To The Day." Here is music that is memorable for its almost passacaglia-like quality and its humor as well. It appears that Roswell Rudd can, once again, do no wrong with song and dance that carries the delightful weight of musical history.
Track Listing: Fan Fare; Elton Dean; Astro Slyde; Hulla Gulla; No End; Bone Again
with Bonerama; To The Day; Sand In My Slide Shuffle; Slide And The
Family Bone; Twelve Bars With Sexmob; A Place Above: Introduction
into Skyward Theme, Instrumental Doxology, Vocal Doxology, Modal
Improvisation and Fan Fare.
Personnel: Martial Ahouandjinou: trombone (1, 11-15); Magloire Ahouandjinou: trumpet (1, 11-15); James Vodounnon: tuba (1, 11-15);
Lucien Gbaguidi: saxophone (1, 11-15); Benoit Avihoue: percussion (1, 11-15); Crespin
Kpitiki: percussion (1, 11-15); Eric Yovogan: trumpet (1, 11-15);
Roswell Rudd: trombone (2-10); Deborah Weisz: trombone (2, 5, 7-9) Steve Swell: trombone (2, 5, 7-9); Henry Grimes: bass and violin (2, 5, 7-9); Bob Stewart: tuba (2, 5, 7-9); Barry Altschul: drums (2-5, 7-9); Ray Anderson: trombone (3, 4); Eddie Bert: trombone (3, 4); Sam Burtis: trombone (3, 4); Wycliffe Gordon: trombone (3, 4); Josh Roseman: trombone (3, 4); Mark Mullins: trombone (6); Steve Souter: trombone (6); Craig Klein: trombone (6); Greg Hicks: trombone (6); Eric Bolivar (6): drums; Matt Perrine: sousaphone (6); Bert Cotton: electric guitar (6); Roswell Rudd: trombone; Steve Bernstein, slide trumpet (10); Doug Wieselman: clarinet (10); Briggan
Krauss: alto saxophone (10); Marcus Rojas: tuba (10); Tony Scherr: bass (10); Kenny
Wollesen: drums (10).
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.