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Trombone Dixie

HOA acts wonders. After rediscovering The Specials, Tom Waits and Rubén Blades for the HOA game I’ve realized how much I love the sound of the trombone. Usually considered as the poor companion of trumpet and sax, the ones that always gets all the attention, it has a distinctive sound capable of sounding funny, sad, humble, playful and even sensual. Rummaging among my record collection I’ve found some jewels.

1. THE SPECIALS “Ghost Town” (1981)

Rico Rodríguez, of course, the only one that actively participated in original Jamaican ska and second wave British Two-Tone ska. The link is not for the original video but you can listen here to the original 12” release including the excellent Rodríguez trombone solo at the end of the song.

2. WILLIE COLÓN & RUBÉN BLADES “Buscando Guayaba” (197

Singer-songwriter Rubén Blades and fabulous trombone player Willie Colón recorded in 1978 “Siembra”, my favourite salsa album. Rubén put the songs but Willie put the thunderous brass arrangements with four trombone players playing simultaneously. As I recently posted “Pedro Navaja” I selected this time “Buscando Guayaba” for the excellent trombone solos (from all the trombonists except Colón?!), but you might enjoy too the excellent “Ojos”.

3. TOM WAITS “In the Neighborhood” (1983)

The reverse of the rollicking music of Blades is that funeral march from Tom Waits with this awesome song backed by bells, parade drum and… three trombones.

4. GORAN BREGOVIC “Mesecina” (1995)

Goran Bregovic formed his Wedding and Funeral band with gipsy musicians that played brass as loud as a buffalo stampede. And, although the solo parts were played by sax and trumpets (again), the tireless rhythm was supported by three trombones and a tuba. This song was part of the soundtrack for Emir Kusturica film Underground.

5. CHICAGO “You Are on My Mind” (1976)

Jimmy Pankow was/is the trombone player of Chicago and occasional singer and songwriter too. Here we can see him singing his own (awesome) composition “You Are on My Mind” included in multiplatinum “Chicago X”. Sadly in this live version the original trombone solo has been substituted for a trumpet solo. You should check the studio version (not on the net for free).

6. JIMMY CLEVELAND “Posterity” (195

Jazz, of course. I admit that I’m cheating here, this was not on my record collection, I simply found it on youtube. But I had to post it, just listen and you will understand.

7. SERGUEY PROKOFIEV “Romeo and Juliet: Montagues and Capulets” (1936)

And classical, of course. My favourite classical piece ever here in a superb version for piano and trombone played by histrionic trombone virtuoso Christian Lindberg.

8. SISA “Maniquí” (1975)

The eccentric Catalonian singer-songwriter Jaume Sisa created a very own music style that called himself “galactic cabaret”. This love song to a mannequin exemplifies it perfectly (you can check it if the deezer link works) with simultaneous solos of clarinet, sax, trumpet and trombone in the ragtime tradition.

9. EXTREMODURO “So payaso” (1996)

Hard-rock with trombones? Why not? The Spanish band Extremoduro did it. And quite brilliantly.

10. THE BEACH BOYS “Trombone Dixie” (1990)

And, last but not least, a throw-away from the sessions of the acclaimed “Pet Sounds”, not officially released until 1990 (it was recorded in November of 1965). A refreshing way of ending this (incomplete and very personal) trombone Top 10. If you know another song that features trombones please feel free to post it.

Sorry, sorry, I need to post a bonus track. This is probably the best trombone solo ever, played during a Dizzy Gillespie birthday celebration by jazz virtuoso Slide Hampton

Re: Trombone Dixie

You can find this excellent post on my blog now

Thanks, DJ Hon !

Re: Trombone Dixie

Merci bien, Nicolas.
J’avais écrit déjà ma propre traduction française, mais la tienne est beaucoup meilleure. Je suis très honoré d’avoir participé à ton excellent blog.

Re: Trombone Dixie

finally i decided to post it today because I had a little time this afternoon. I didn't know you had already made your own traduction. I'm a little bit sorry because you did that for nothing... but I had to post it quickly in both languages

Re: Trombone Dixie

No problem at all, Nicolas, it’s OK. As I said, your translation is way better (I never heard such beautiful and funny expressions as “en chair et an os”). And it wasn’t for nothing, I refreshed a little my rusty French.