One Track Mind: Trombone Shorty, “Long Weekend” (2013)

Yeah, yeah, I know, Trombone Shorty’s latest album Say This To Say Thathas been out since around Labor Day, but here we or bearing down on Christmas and I still can’t get enough of it. Or more to the point, one particular track.

That track, “Long Weekend,” actually premiered a couple of weeks earlier than the album, and it was the right choice for introducing Shorty’s latest disc, which is another one of those boss blends of rock, funk, r&b and jazz with his native ‘Nawlins vibe never far behind.

“Long Weekend” transports me back to a more carefree time with its guitar-driven rhythm, a handmade retro arrangement (courtesy of the retro-minded producer Raphael Saadiq) and innocent lyrics about making out in the car. But maybe I keep coming back to it because it sounds so much like Kool & The Gang’s “Get Down On It.”

There’s still a lot of Shorty in it, though, enough to shoo away any notions that this is merely some sub-genre excercise. Especially at the moment Shorty kicks off the instrumental break by announcing “gonna blow my horn.” Those licks he reels off are guitar licks, not the kind you’d hear from a trombone.

That’s one of those instances that show just how adept he is in creating a truly unique hybrid sound. Troy Andrews, the jazz musician, would never play it like that on his straight-ahead records, but his alter ego Trombone Shorty knows his audience, and he hits their sweet spot square on.

More than three months later, “Long Weekend” still hits mine.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is a CPA and mid-level data analyst for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.