Joey Sellers Solo Trombone What the…?

Trombonist/composer Joey Sellers could be called a contrarian. Instead of following the solo trombone precedents set by George Lewis, Albert Mangelsdorf and Paul Rutherford ― all pretty serious affairs ― Sellers is positively joyous, and funny, to boot. Take "Piece for Foil Laden Trombone and Water Jug," for instance. Rollicking and upbeat, it's punctuated by tapped interjections and gut-deep groans that add to the comical vibe. Although most of the tunes on the 22-track disc are his, Sellers does an unorthodox version of "Monk's Dream" that includes unexpected multiphonics, hummed/played notes and some yelled exclamations that give the usually nostalgic piece a whole new, welcome dimension. The trombonist has loads of chops that give him the freedom to make difficult leaps, pedal tones and growls, and he incorporates these with easeful nonchalance. On "Chilled Green," he multi-tracks a brief reading of Charles Bukowski and plays the spoken cadences. "Water Music" finds him making musical use of a usual drawback: spit in the slide. What the…? is thoroughly engaging, witty and just plain fun. (Circumvention)