The New Orleans-Rio Connection

I first heard Rick Trolsen in New Orleans (Never The Big Easy, please, unless you want to be considered a tourist cornball unduly infuenced by bad movies; calling it The Crescent City is okay). He was in Al Belletto’s big band. I loved his unreservedly tromboney solos. Trolsen is not a young hot dog trombonist harboring an inner trumpeter yearning to be free, but a mature one who loves the instrument for itself. Since I have long been hooked on Brazilian music, it came as a double surprise and … [Read more...]

Kart on Perkins

The latest on tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins's solo methodology: critic and historian Larry Kart responds to musician Charlie Shoemake's pondering the other day on the nature and origin of Perkins's harmonic choices. I understand what Charlie Shoemake says up a point, but then I don't understand it all, at least not as it applies to latter-day Perkins, who seems to me to have become one of the more harmonically oriented players on the planet -- a man whose melodies were in effect being generated … [Read more...]

Get Real

The trombonist and singer Eric Felten chimed in the other day on the proposition that listeners deserve the break of being given something familiar to hang their ears on before the improvisation starts. I enjoyed your post on the question of writing new tunes, versus playing something recognizable. Jimmy Knepper once told me that the main reason he wrote new tunes for his albums was so that he would get the royalty taste rather than the Gershwins or Victor Young getting it. Thus his boppish … [Read more...]