Trombone Shout Bands
About a year ago, one of my roommates told me about a church he'd been to in Boston, the United House of Prayer for All People, where the music for the service was a giant of trombones and drums. I'v beenn looking into this off and on for a while, and there was some information out there, but I was lucky enough to find a recording from Smithsonian Folkways that documents what I found out is a musical genre all its own: trombone shout bands. The recording, Saint's Paradise: Trombone Shout Bands, is a musical feast of gospel, New Orleans and jazz thrown together into a true gumbo of expression. I strongly encourage you to check this album out -- I picked it up a few weeks ago, and have played it for many people with varying listening tastes, and everyone seems to enjoy it -- in spite of it being a bunch of trombones! It even went over well at a poker night!
I ran into an article this weekend in The Examiner about a group from Washington, DC, the Madison Lively Stones (featured on the CD), playing in the streets on Dupont Circle, and it reminded me to blog about this album. Here's an excerpt:
Twelve trombones wail over the quick beat of snare drums and cymbals as dusk settles on Dupont Circle. The musicians point their brass instruments to the sky as they hit the high notes, praising God.
They play and move with the symmetry of a gospel choir. The soulful sound draws in pedestrians like a magnet.
"Our music touches everyone, I don't care where you're from," said John R. Walker Jr., president of the Madison Lively Stones. "If you come out here and stand out here and listen to us play, you're going to move or rock or step side to side and clap your hands."
This "trombone shout band," similar to a gospel brass band, has staked out sidewalks across the District of Columbia for more than two decades. Noise complaints forced it to move from Georgetown to various street corners in Dupont Circle.
Enough said. Check it out -- Saint's Paradise: Trombone Shout Bands.