On his fourth studio effort and first for Blue Note Records, 2017's Parking Lot Symphony, New Orleans singer, songwriter, and brass wizard Troy Andrews (aka Trombone Shorty) fully embraces the organic '70s-style R&B he’s heretofore only touched on. Ever since officially debuting in 2010 with Backatown, Andrews has moved ever closer to that '70s soul aesthetic with each subsequent album. Backatown even featured contributions from both Lenny Kravitz and legendary New Orleans pianist Allen Toussaint. In fact, his previous effort, 2013's Say That to Say This, had a similarly old-school bent courtesy of neo-soul master and co-producer Raphael Saadiq. But for Parking Lot Symphony, Andrews dives into the sound full-force, paired with producer Chris Seefried (Fitz & the Tantrums, Haley Reinhart, Andra Day) on a set of songs that bring to mind the earthy, vinyl-laden vibe of '70s artists like New Orleans own the Meters..
Troy 'Trombone Shorty' Andrew's third recording for the historic Verve label finds him collaborating with famed producer Raphael Saadiq (D'Angelo, Mary J. Blige, John Legend). The album includes nine original tracks and a collaboration with the original line-up of the Meters (recording together for the first time since they broke up in 1977) and Cyril Neville. Other tracks are performed by Shorty's long time band, Orleans Avenue, and some tracks feature Saadiq. Andrews elaborates that the album is 'really funky, like James Brown funk mixed with a New Orleans sound, like the Meters, Neville Brothers, and then with what I do on the top of it.'
This is the lone solo album by sideman Roger "Jellyroll" Troy, a consummate session player who was best known for his collaborations with blues bandleader Michael Bloomfield, including as part of a reunited mid-'70s version of Electric Flag. Troy's bona fides go back even further than that: while still a teen, he was the bassist in the novelty rock band, the Hollywood Argyles, and went on to gigs with James Brown and Freddie King. In 1969 he cut an album as the leader of the band Jellyroll (which was his nickname) and he had considerable success as a songwriter in the early '70s. This album is pretty much pure white soul, with a heavy Muscle Shoals feel: four songs were written by Troy, though tellingly he also covers Dan Penn, whose emotive vocals style is echoed in Troy's own phrasing. Among the many musicians backing him are jazz saxophonist Ernie Watts and pianist/producer Mike Lipskin… Fans of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Joe Cocker and any number of eclectic Memphis roots/soul bands might want to check this one out.
Nels Andrews gained plaudits far and wide for his debut album 'Sunday Shoes,' as parched as the American Southwest landscapes he inhabited. Three years on and his second album finds him in New York, employing a fuller, more produced sound but maintaining a restless, questing soul. He describes the intervening years as replacing one itinerant lifestyle (labouring in the canneries of Alaska and planting trees in the forests of South Dakota) with another (travelling musician or troubadour). In the hubbub of the city he has sought solace in solitary spaces, abandoned piers and rooftops.