Say That to Say This (Verve Music Group)

Trombone Shorty 

Released September 10, 2013

AllMusic Favorite Jazz Albums 2013




Verve Records will release Trombone Shorty’s new album Say This To Say That on September 9th, 2013. This will mark Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrew’s third recording for the historic label and finds him collaborating with famed producer Raphael Saadiq (D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, etc.).
Recorded in Los Angeles and his native New Orleans, the album includes nine new original tracks and collaboration with the original line-up of the Meters, recording together for the first time since they broke up in 1977 on a new version of their song, ‘Be My Lady.’ The track also features New Orleans legend and Neville Brother, Cyril Neville. Other tracks are performed by Shorty’s long time band, Orleans Avenue, as well as some tracks featuring Saadiq himself.
The pairing of Shorty with producer, Saadiq, was a long time coming. ‘We used to run into each other on the road a lot,’ recounts Saadiq, ‘and it was just a natural progression for us to work together.’ 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.’
One of the hardest touring artists in music today, Andrews has appeared everywhere from Australia to Brazil and the last few years have seen him perform at the White House for President Obama and sharing the stage with his former employer, Lenny Kravitz, amongst many other highlights. He will tour the album worldwide beginning this summer.

Track Listing:

1. Say That to Say This (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Michael Ballard / Pete Murano) 02:56

2. You and I (Outta This Place) (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Michael Ballard / David Ryan Harris / Pete Murano) 03:51

3. Get the Picture (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Pete Murano / Anders Osborne / Raphael Saadiq) 02:43

4. Vieux Carre (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Joey Peebles) 02:45

5. Be My Lady (George Porter, Jr. / Ziggy Modeliste / Art Neville / Cyril Neville / Leo Nocentelli) 03:31

6. Long Weekend (Raphael Saadiq / Taura Stinson) 04:07

7. Fire and Brimstone (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Michael Ballard / Pete Murano / Alonzo “Novel” Stevenson / Taura Stinson) 03:26

8. Sunrise (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews) 03:16

9. Dream On (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Michael Ballard/ Sam Hollander / Pete Murano / Boots Ottestad / Joey Peebles) 04:20

10. Shortyville (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Raphael Saadiq) 04:22


Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews: trombone, congas (8), drums (4, 10), trumpet (4), percussion (1, 4, 5, 9, 10), vocals (2, 3, 5-7, 9)

Michael Ballard: bass (1-3, 7, 9)

Peter Murano: guitars (1-4, 7-9)

Raphael Saadiq: bass (4, 8, 10), clavinet (3, 7), guitar (3, 6, 10), keyboards (2), vocals (3, 6)

Art Neville: keyboards (5), organ (5)

Cyril Neville: vocals (5)

Leo Nocentelli: guitar (5)

George Porter, Jr.: bass (5)

Charles Smith: percussion (5)

Zigaboo Modiste: drums (5)

Taura Stinson: vocals (6)

Calvin Turner: bass (6)

Lemar Carter: drums (6)

Charles Jones: organ (6)

Recorded at Blakeslee Studios, North Hollywood, CA; House of Blues Studio, Nashville, TN; Music Shed, New Orleans, LA

Produced by Raphael Saadiq and Troy Andrews

Engineers: Justin Merrill (1-4, 6-10), Charles Smith and Kyle Lamy (5)

Mixing: Gerry Brown, Justin Merrill

Mastered by Bernie Grundman

Photography: Jonathan Mannion

Design: Ryan Rogers


Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews’ third Verve album, Say That to Say This, might be the one he should have cut first. Backatown and For True — both produced by Galactic’s Ben Ellman — were as steeped in rock and hip-hop as they were jazz and funk; they were actually very experimental records yet both charted and were well-received internationally. This date, co-produced with Raphael Saadiq, is a much more R&B-oriented recording — and proves a definite plus in a number of ways. Shorty’s become much more disciplined, as revealed by this collection of groove-conscious soul and modern NOLA funk (and though it’s more polished — having been recorded almost wholly in Hollywood — it is closer to what he does live). Things kick off with the title track, one of four instrumentals, led by Michael Ballard’s whomping bassline. Though Shorty’s horns were cut in NOLA, it feels like the band is playing live, with a Meters-esque groove. The call and response between his horns and Peter Murano’s guitar is nasty. The Meters’ trademark funk is at the heart of “Get the Picture,” with Saadiq on backing vocals. The track is built on Murano’s snaky guitar, Ballard’s bubbling bassline, and Saadiq’s vicious clavinet, with the vocal punch declaring its intention above Joey Peebles’ knotty breaks. Speaking of the Meters, the original band appears here on record for the first time since 1978 with their ballad “Be My Lady.” It’s almost a carbon of the original that appeared on their New Directions album, with only modern production and the trombone solo adding new dimensions — George Porter’s bumping bassline and the gorgeous interplay of Shorty’s and Cyril Neville’s voices make it a highlight. The brief “Vieux Carre” weds a jazz chart to a Caribbean, Latin-tinged groove with Andrews playing not only horns but also drums with Saadiq on bass. The streetwise “Fire and Brimstone,” introduced by Ballard and Murano, is a triumphant, militant anthem to survival and success amid the struggle of life in the Treme. Andrews’ vocals and horns underscore the groove (his trombone solo highlights the transcendence in his lyrics), and Saadiq’s wonky clavinet flavors it all. It’s followed by the breezy jazz of “Sunrise,” with Shorty’s trumpet solo atop his trombone, his congas complementing Peebles’ drums as Saadiq’s bass and Murano’s guitar sweeten the tune’s vamp. “Dream On” is the brighter side of the rise-above-it-all sentiment expressed on “Fire and Brimstone” (though its lyrics are just as gritty) with beautifully arranged vocal harmonies. Say That to Say This closes with the punchy, harder-edged “Shortyville,” an instrumental duet. Andrews plays all instruments save for a roiling, pocket-stretching bass played by Saadiq. Shorty’s improvising is right out of the NOLA jazz heritage even though it occurs inside a modern funk number. Ultimately, with all of its confidence, production polish, and sophistication, this is the album that should break Trombone Shorty to a much wider, more diverse audience.

Thom Jurek (AllMusic)