Archive for trombone

The Lord is listenin’ to ya, Hallelujah!

Posted in Jazz with tags , , , , , , , on December 2, 2012 by telescoper

It’s a cold and dreary Sunday and I’m definitely in need of a pick-me-up, so I thought I’d share this you. It was recorded live in 1981 by the Carla Bley Band and can be found on a superb album called, appropriately enough, Carla Bley Live! When this record came out I was an avid listener to Humphrey Lyttelton’s radio show The Best of Jazz and he chose this magnificent track featuring the trombonist Gary Valente as a taster for the album. It became one of the all-time favourites on his show and he played it a number of times over the years.  It’s also one of the most-played tracks on my iPod, as I find it very uplifting on long and wearisome train journeys.

The trombone is usually described as a brass instrument, but Gary Valente makes  his sound more like it’s made of wrought iron; Humph described the sound as as “like that of a wounded bison”. Anyway, ignore the rather dull pictures of churches used in the video, and just listen to one of the  most overwhelming performances in all of Jazz; the immensity of Valente’s trombone sound is at times almost terrifying. And if you’re one of those people who dislikes Jazz that’s stylistically dated later than about 1945, give this a hearing because it’s absolutely drenched in the Blues and Gospel traditions. I’ll even let you call it awesome

P.S. No, I haven’t gone religious, but this track disproves the old theory that the devil has the best music…