Trombone Shorty & Brian Wilson Review

Horn player Trombone Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue bring the ‘Supafunkrock’ to the studio.

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What’s an ousted prime minister to do with all his free time? Release an album of course. Former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi co-wrote all 11 tracks on the new album of love songs by Mariano Apicella. True Love sounds a little more Spanish than Italian to Jim, but he’s mostly amused that a twice-married man who has had his fair share of sex scandals would try his hand at love ballads. In other musical-political crossovers, Senegalese musician Youssou N’Dour is giving up his current career to run for office. The man Rolling Stone once named the most famous living African singer hasn’t announced which office, but many are speculating that he’ll go for the highest one, President.

In other news, Elvis Costello is taking a unique marketing tact in promoting his new album The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook. He says, Don’t buy it. At $200, Costello thinks the box set is overpriced, and he’d instead recommend you invest your money in something more worthwhile-a Louis Armstrong box set priced at less than $150.

Trombone Shorty

Up next, Troy Trombone Shorty Andrews and his band Orleans Avenue. At just 25, Troy has already been playing music for two decades, and professionally for nearly as long. He has recorded half a dozen albums, toured the world and collaborated with a who’s who of New Orleans legends like The Nevilles and Rebirth Brass Band, in addition to Green Day, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. Somehow he also found time to play himself in a recurring role on the hit HBO show Treme, which takes place in his neighborhood in New Orleans’ 6th ward. Jim and Greg were anxious to hear the group perform songs from Trombone Shorty’s albums For True and Backatown. They also wanted to hear about Troy’s experience after Hurricane Katrina and his philosophy on so-called rules of jazz. Listen or watch and you’ll hear (luckily) there are none.

Smile Brian Wilson

Smile

Beach Boys fans have been waiting over forty years for Brian Wilson’s lost record, Smile. Now we can finally hear those abandoned recordings from 1967 on the Smile Sessions. But as Jim explains, a lost album usually deserves to stay that way. He doesn’t hear any of the emotion that made Wilson’s masterpiece Pet Sounds so wonderful. And the studio experimentation is more mess than art. The Smile Sessions detract from the Beach Boys legacy, according to Jim, so he says Trash It. Greg would’ve expected different from a Syd Barrett fan. He hears a lot of idiosyncratic whimsy. Sure, it’s not as emotional as Pet Sounds, but it’s a fascinating curio and successful song cycle. Greg says Buy It.

Jim

Jim returns to New Orleans for his Desert Island Jukebox selection this week. In addition, there’s an element of psychedelic lunacy on his pick, as there is on Smile. The record is Dr. John’s 1968 release Gris Gris, and the song is Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya. You’ll never hear anything like it.

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