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Pop - Released March 15, 2019 | Verve Forecast

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Pop - Released March 15, 2019 | Verve Forecast

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Pop - Released June 8, 2018 | Verve Forecast

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Verve Forecast

Hi-Res Distinctions Découverte JAZZ NEWS - Hi-Res Audio
New Orleans' Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews knows the music biz inside out. Hounded for years by friends and music business types to jump into the game, he understood the lessons of his lineage elders: too many had been been ripped off and discarded. He took his time, assembling, rehearsing, and touring Orleans Avenue, a band steeped in brass band history, jazz improv, funk, soul, rock, and hip hop. He finally signed to Verve Forecast and released Backatown in April of 2010. Entering at number one on the jazz charts, it stayed there for nine straight weeks, and was in the Top Ten for over six months. For True hits while Backatown is climbing again. Chock-full of cameos it is an extension, but sonically different. It's production is crisper, but the musical diversity more pushes further. In addition to trombone, Shorty plays trumpet, organ, piano, drums, synths, and, of course, sings. Orleans Avenue colors the rest. They are tighter, even more confident, and perhaps even more adventurous here. Though Shorty handles some tracks playing all the instruments himself, or with a guest or two, OA bear the lion's share with gravitas. “Buckjump” is the first clue that this is part two -- it could have been the closing track on Backatown. The Rebirth Brass Band guest and play a big funky horn chart as Shorty's big trombone solo greases the skids. NOLA's Weebie chants in tandem with the break-heavy rhythm track. "Encore" (written with Motown's Lamont Dozier) showcases some of Shorty's B-3 and soulful vocal skills, as Warren Haynes lends his trademark guitar sound. The title track, one of the album's brief musical interludes, features Shorty's solo with a killer trumpet break. “Do to Me” has a melody constructed around Shorty's smoking bone solo and a knife-edged guitar solo from Jeff Beck. "The Craziest Things" and "Dumaine Street" showcase Shorty's and Orleans Avenue's collective ability to create locking, complementary grooves; they play funky second-line rhythms countered by a jazz horn chart and improv in an R&B tune on the former, and a marching stepper on the latter. Ivan and Cyril Neville help with some fine vocal work on "Nervis," and Ledisi's stellar performance on the swinging rhythm & blues “Then There Was You” shines. "Mrs. Orleans" featuring Kid Rock's out-of-place, boisterous rap, could have been left off without the album suffering. The cut "Big 12," with producer Ben Ellman on blues harmonica, is titled for Shorty's older brother James' nickname, it kicks with big bass drums, hi-hat, and snares, locked on horns, rock guitar vamps, and a dubwise bassline. Ultimately, comparing For True to Backatown is pointless: they are of a piece, experimental records that show different sides of his identity besides the one for punchy homegrown R&B he's known for at home; two parts of a compelling, dynamic musical aesthetic firmly in and of the 21st centuryeven whenthey look back at history. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 2011 | Verve Forecast

After four years off, R&B singer Carl Thomas returned with “Don’t Kiss Me,” a stupendous and nostalgic single that suggested his iffy days were over. The album it lands on is, in true Thomas fashion, a mixed bag, with an epic yet ultimately empty title track that stately suggests “conquering” women is what the man does best. That fever-pitch bedroom talk is better left to R. Kelly and the like, as Thomas is best with either the slow burn (the love-drunk “It Ain’t Fair”) or the flirty dirty talk (“Round 2,” a pillow fight night metaphor with “Look what we did to the bedroom baby” being its unashamed high point). Compared to his previous efforts, Conquer is more aware of these strengths than any release since his debut, and when it takes winning musical risks like the complicated “Long Distance Love Affair,” that mythical, classic Thomas album seems almost within reach. Material-starved fans craving his rich, warm, and velvety delivery should ignore all these minor complaints and plunder at will. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | Verve Forecast

Backatown, the Verve debut from New Orleans composer, bandleader, and trombone and trumpet boss Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, was one of the most hotly anticipated recordings of 2010. Given the well-deserved reputation Andrews and his Orleans Avenue band have for incendiary live performances, one had to wonder if it would translate in their studio offerings for independent labels. It didn't because they'd never had the budget to get the vibe right. Backatown is the first time that Orleans Avenue -- Dwayne "Big D" Williams (percussion), Mike Ballard (bass), Joey Peebles (drums), Pete Murano (guitar), and Dan Oestreicher (baritone sax) -- have had an actual budget to capture the Trombone Shorty experience, and they've made a studio record that offers a real taste of the live show's excitement. Shorty calls his music “supafunkrock,” and it's an accurate term for the aural gumbo on this fingerpopping, butt-shakin' mix set. Produced by Galactic’s Ben Ellman, it contains 13 Shorty originals and an original interpretation of Allen Toussaint's “On Your Way Down," on which Toussaint plays piano. The set is titled for a term used by residents of the Treme neighborhood in the city’s 6th Ward -- the oldest black neighborhood in America. It definitely sounds like it was recorded in a proper recording studio (Number C and Shorty’s Gumbo Room in N.O.) but transcends those confines. It crackles and burns with an unburdened, unfettered, passionate live feel. Clocking in at 43 minutes, it opens with “Hurricane Season.” It commences with a marching rhythm on snare and bass drum followed by Andrews playing a trumpet vamp. It kicks into dancing gear with one of the nastiest, funkiest basslines since Parliament's “Flash Light,” followed by horn vamps, big power chords, and drum kit breaks that are infectious. “Quiet as Kept” combines Ballard’s bass with guest Charles Smith's synthesized bassline, honking baritone sax, grimy distorted electric guitars and trombones, percussion, and organ for a monster funk workout. Former Andrews boss Lenny Kravitz guests on guitar and backing vox on “Something Beautiful,” which weds hip-hop, rock, and neo-soul. The rockist power chords on “Right to Complain” underscore Andrews duetting with Marc Broussard on an anthem that reflects the need for personal transformation in order to solve community problems. Proof of Andrews’ vocal prowess is everywhere, but especially on the modern soul ballad “Fallin.” That said, it’s the instrumentals with their drum-heavy, cracking on-the-one funk and second-line rhythms that keep the the entire album moving and grooving -- check out “Neph,” “In the Sixth,” and closer “928 Horn Jam.” But the rockers -- “Suburbia,” “Where Y’ At,” and “The Cure” -- meld metallic guitars, second-line, and funky breaks, hip-hop and jazz seamlessly and are equally potent and satisfying. Backatown is everything popular American music should be; yet it's also what sets Andrews and Orleans Avenue, and New Orleans music in general, apart, without compromise. This is a Best of 2010 candidate hands down. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | Verve Forecast

The Orchard is an intimate, intensely personal album that ranks among the most compelling of the artist’s career. With help from singer/songwriter Toshi Reagon, Marc Anthony Thompson (who records under the name Chocolate Genius), and members of Ollabelle, Calexico, and Bob Dylan’s band, Wright has created a beautiful, organic feel on The Orchard -- one that is the perfect vehicle for her expressive voice and original songwriting vision. Yet it is Wright herself who shines through most powerfully here, whether on stunning originals such as “When I Fall” or her treatments of Ike & Tina’s “I Idolize You” and Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You.” © Anthony Tognazzini /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2006 | Verve Forecast

As a soundtrack for Lian Lunson's film Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, Hal Willner's choices from the two overseas evenings of Came So Far for Beauty: An Evening of Leonard Cohen Songs recorded in Brighton and Sydney -- the original was in Brooklyn -- are exceptionally well done. The rest of this program, however, is utterly fine, beautiful, raw, and immediate. It helps when you've got great material, an arranger like Steven Bernstein, and bands that include Charles Burnham, Michael Blake, Kenny Wollesen, Briggan Krauss, Chris Spedding, Marc Anthony Thompson, Smokey Hormel, Don Falzone, and Maxim Moston. Hal Wilner picked the tunes after producing the Brooklyn show. And when you have Julie Christensen and Perla Batalla -- longtime Cohen bandmembers -- singing backing vocals on most every tune and taking their own leads as well, the performances move to another level and you have a feast. The multi-generational approach features young guns like Jarvis Cocker, Beth Orton, Teddy Thompson, the Handsome Family, and Martha and Rufus Wainwright along with first-generation Cohen countrywomen the McGarrigle Sisters (one of whom is mother to Rufus and Martha) and middle-years admirers like Nick Cave and Antony, not to mention Battala and Christensen. It begins with Martha's wonderfully overwrought "Tower of Song." She catches the drama and the wryness in it and just pours it all out. Her brother does an acceptable job of "Chelsea Hotel No. 2" in his trademark nasally wheeze and foppish manner, but his version of "Everybody Knows" comes off with more authority. Nick Cave's lounge lizard sneer on "I'm Your Man" contains all the humor, false confidence, and desperate need of the original. The McGarrigles (with Martha) cover "Winter Lady"; it's light, airy, and gorgeously done, as is Martha's other solo, "The Traitor." Beth Orton is simple, from the gut, and completely raw and effective on "Sisters of Mercy." Listeners get Jarvis Cocker and the Handsome Family doing straight reads of "I Can't Forget" and "Famous Blue Raincoat," respectively -- complete with attempts at imitating Cohen's low rumble. Cocker is truly great, while the Handsome Family are more than acceptable. Batalla's "Bird on a Wire" lends the song an entirely new dimension with its slipstream country backdrop and Cajun overtones, courtesy of a fine accordion solo. Cave, Christensen, and Batalla collaborate for a stunningly real midtempo "Suzanne" that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Batalla and Christensen's reading of "Anthem" is tender to the point of heartbreak. Teddy Thompson is, judging by his two recorded outings and his performances of "Tonight Will Be Fine" and "The Future" here, on the way to becoming a truly great singer. But it is Antony's performance of "If It Be Your Will" that is the showstopper here. With Bernstein's arrangement creating a gospel feel, Antony's white-hot vocal expressionism and humility tear the surface off every emotion and word in the song for the purpose of finding what they're really made of. If this one doesn't just blow you away, you have sawdust instead of blood running in your veins. It almost feels like the voice of God coming through the grain of his own. The final cut, by perennial spotlight hogs U2 -- of course, they weren't part of the festival -- was the exception and was done in a burlesque club. Their version of "Tower of Song" is the last thing on the program and it belongs there; it's a collaboration between them, Cohen, and Anjani Thomas. Their overblown, over-arranged, and over-produced take on the tune almost steals the author's tough lyrical meaning and buries it under dross instrumental crap that sounds like an outtake from one of their albums -- they never could cover other people's material well. Cohen and Anjani sound great on it, though. They keep Bono chained up until the very last verse, where he almost wrecks the tune with his undisciplined vamp on the melody, and the seemingly inauthentic (over)emotional ache in his delivery. Other than this blemish, which keeps I'm Your Man from being perfect, this is a fine and fitting tribute to an artist whose gifts are so massive that they cannot even be spoken of adequately. © Thom Jurek /TiVo