Trombone Shorty on The Craig Ferguson Show

Once again Craig Ferguson surprised me last night with some excellent music on his show. I had never seen or even heard of Trombone Shorty before, but I really enjoyed his performance and his band.

As I have mentioned before, Ferguson rarely has music on his show, unlike most chat shows, which feature a band every night. When he does have music it is usually pretty ordinary, or not to my taste. But Trombone Shorty both pleased and surprised me. I felt compelled to find out more.

Trombone Shorty’s real name is Troy Andrews and he hails from the jazz and blues capital of New Orleans and a long line of musicians. He was really a child prodigy playing professionally at 5 years old and mastering trumpet and drums as well as Trombone. His grandfather was an R&B recording artist (Jessie Hill) and his brother (James “12″ Andrews) a successful jazz trumpeter. I believe that Troy explores both genres, but the tune he played last night was really funky.

His band on last nights show were all very young looking, but they could all really play and at times made me think of that other famous funk outfit from New OrleansThe Meters. I especially liked the way the bass player moved and his small guitar against his large frame amused me too.

Troy studied at the famous New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) which was also responsible for the education of such luminaries as Harry Connick, Jr and Wynton and Branford MarsalisTroy was so talented that at the age of 8 a club in his home town was named Trombone Shorts in his honour.

His first recording, released under his own name, was the 2002 album Swingin’ Gatewhich was widely acclaimed by jazz critics, Troy was only 16 at the time. He has since released four live albums of his performances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, entitled Live at Jazz Fest 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008. His album Backatown was released in 2010 and features him on vocals, trombone, trumpet, keyboards, drums, and other percussion. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Contemporary Jazz Album category.

On Your Way Down, the tune he played on The Craig Ferguson Show last night, is from his latest album For True which was released this month and features guest appearances from Jeff Beck, Lenny Kravitz, Kid Rock, Ivan and Cyril Neville, and the Rebirth Brass Band. See I knew there was a Meters influence there.

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