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Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and the Orleans Avenue Band whipped the Playboy Jazz Festival audience into a musical feeding frenzy at the Hollywood Bowl. – photo courtesy of Playboy Jazz Festival.
The official start of the Los Angeles summer outdoor concert season was kicked off in grand style as the 35th Playboy Jazz Festival (PBJ) returned to the Hollywood Bowl.
PBJ has always delivered a mixed bag of jazz from straight ahead, smooth, Latin and big band to Sunday’s defining performance by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and the Orleans Avenue band.
Regular PBJ fans anticipate the annual “Second Line” and duly pulled out their white napkins to wave in the air. As the first few notes of the familiar Nawlin’s sound started, the crowd began to move to a beat that quickly grew to a crescendo. Frantic cheers and dancing ensued. Not one arm dropped their napkin while Trombone Shorty was on stage, especially when he held a note on his horn for an eternity. Well, at least two minutes.
The uber energetic young bandleader delivered a musical gumbo of jazz standards, vocals, R&B, funk and rap with arrangements that even included some Tupac, Westside Connection and James Brown. This musical diversity is further reflected in his latest album “For True” which features Jeff Beck, Warren Haynes, Kid Rock and Ledisi.
Orleans Avenue Band members include Michael “Bass” Ballard, Pete “Freaky Pete” Murano, Dan “Uncle Potato Chip” Oestreicher, Joey “In And Out” Peebles and Tim McFatter.
The old-head jazz aficionados nodded at Troy’s chops and the younger set embraced the group’s high voltage performance.
If Trombone Shorty and the Orleans Avenue Band are any indication of the future of jazz – it’s not only safe, it’s exciting.