Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue concerts are preposterous. The garish presentations of the high-energy New Orleans band are completely over-the-top. Every solo is presented as a heroic achievement. About 1,000 people lapped up the shameless showboating of the nine-piece band at Crossroads KC on Tuesday, June 4. It would have been corny if it wasn’t so effective. The musicians back up their ostentatious grandstanding with stellar ensemble work. Often billed as a jazz act, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue is actually a jam-oriented funk band with a thick New Orleans accent. Fans dictate the band’s direction. More than half the audience used the group’s occasional forays into serious jazz-based improvisations as excuses to yak at their pals on Tuesday. Most also talked through an opening set by Seratones. I look forward to catching the soulful Shreveport group in a more accommodating setting.
Mac Rebennack, the Louisiana musician better known as Dr. John, has died. A few personal notes:
*The Top 40 radio hit “Right Place, Wrong Time” blew my mind in 1973.
*A cutout copy of Desitively Bonnaroo was the first Dr. John album I purchased.
*Bluesiana Triangle is my favorite Dr. John-affiliated album.
*My adamant defense of Dr. John almost came to fisticuffs during a racially-charged argument at a bachelor party. (I still regret my obstinance.)
*The first of the four or five Dr. John concerts I attended was in 1984. I reviewed his 2006 appearance at the Beaumont for The Kansas City Star.
*My life partner asked Dr. John about his mojo hand during a question-and-answer session at a 2012 concert at Yardley Hall.
(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)