Jazz Fest has started and music is everywhere! I’d planned a quiet day at home but out of town friends changed all that and off I went to a yummy meal at Emeril’s, served impeccably, followed by a night of brass at the House of Blues. When we walked in, the Stooges Brass Band had the stage. Their fierce energy ran non-stop through a forever of songs. When I say non-stop, I mean they never stopped, one song ran seamlessly into the next. It was amazing.
My friends and I were already satisfied with the evening’s music before Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue even took the stage. Spoiled as I am here, that makes 3 times I’ve seen them this month including their amazing showings earlier this month at Wednesday at the Square and at day 3 of French Quarter Fest.
By now, I know many of the songs. Though we had the best seats in the house (middle of the front balcony), I had to kick my chair away to dance the night away. Hurricane Season is a full-on favorite for me. When they began to play Sunny Side of the Street, I got so excited to see Shorty once again wow the crowd with his circular breathing single trumpet note lasting at least 3 minutes 15 seconds by my count at FQFest. But as he was gearing up, Uncle Lionel of Treme Brass Band joined the stage and put the amazing Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews in momentary check. Uncle Lionel held his umbrella over his shoulder and played it like a trombone as he “sang” an imitation of the instrument. It was amazing. 80 years old, he got his sexy on and played a hell of an umbrella to the delight of the crowd. There was even a short duet.
We cheered Uncle Lionel as he made ready to leave but then he came back to dance behind Shorty. Just as Trombone Shorty’s trumpet was winding up for the big moment, Uncle Lionel came back and sang the last verse. The young bucks of Orleans Avenue deferred and the audience will never know what they missed, remembering instead the suave charm of a man who played an umbrella.
Not to be outdone, on their hard driving version of St. James Infirmery, Trombone Shorty did pull off a circular breathing moment, this time fluttering the note with finger movements. Amazing. The evening ended with the seductive Tell me Something Beautiful and a series of insane solos. One of my friends leaned in at some point and mentioned how full of joy he was. Yeah, and I get to live here.
As I had no idea what my evening would hold, I failed to bring a camera but enjoy video of the sustained note at FQFest.