Trombone Shorty Backatown

On Backatown, New Orleans, LA's Trombone Shorty (aka Troy Andrews) pulls off a rare, admirable feat; he's delivered a studio album that captures the energy of his celebrated live set. If you've caught this trombonist in concert with back-up band Orleans Avenue, you'll know what I'm talking about. They're one of the most transcendent acts touring right now, offering a blistering gumbo of funkified, down home, New Orleans jazz, which Shorty has termed "supafunkrock." With Galactic's Ben Ellman at the controls, Backatown bristles with raw energy, determination and rejuvenation, sounding all the more urgent post-Katrina. Infectious monster "Hurricane Season" opens the set, marrying on-the-one marching rhythms to power chords and insanely rousing horns. Lenny Kravitz drops by to lend some vocals and guitar to the relaxed neo-soul groove of "Something Beautiful," and Allan Toussaint contributes piano to an inspired remake of his "On Your Way Down." As nice as these cameos are, they're unneeded, since Trombone Shorty shines on instrumentals like "928 Horn Jam" and "The Cure," which effortlessly blend hip-hop, jazz, rock and funk, and are devastating testimonials to his stylistic and musical versatility. (Verve Forecast)