Trombone Shorty Funked It Up on New Year’s Day
9:30 Club, Washington, DC
January 1, 2011
One guarantee at a Trombone Shorty show is it will always be a great time. Alternating between trombone and trumpet, singing, dancing around the stage, and at times conducting his band, Shorty (Troy Andrews) is immensely talented and he’s the ultimate showman. So it was no surprise that his New Year’s Day show at the 9:30 Club was a raucous, fun, jumping experience.
Shorty has been touring relentlessly in support of his latest CD called Backatown, which is the nickname given to the 6th ward neighborhood in New Orleans where he resides. The Grammy-nominated disc, his first on a national label, is filled with funk-infused jazz that rocks. And much of his 2-hour set featured music from it.
But Shorty came up a little short on one thing: traditional New Orleans music. I think it’s the civic duty of any funk/brass band from New Orleans to be an ambassador of the city’s culture by playing such favorites as “When the Saints Go Marching In” or “Iko Iko.” Typically, Shorty plays that stuff, often in a medley but it was not to be that night. He did play his popular rendition of “Sunny Side of the Street,” which was outstanding, even though he did not incorporate his fantastic vocal impersonation of Louis Armstrong.
The show was exciting, high-energy fun with Shorty engaging the audience and hamming it up at every turn. In the end, I’m just glad Shorty is starting to get the national exposure he so richly deserves.Nicknames:
Backatown, the album title, is the nickname of the Treme, his New Orleans neighborhood.
Shorty: Most folks notice he’s not short and wonder how he got that name. When Troy was 4 years old, his family teased him because his trombone was bigger than him. The nickname "Shorty" stuck and remains to this day.