"Suburbia" - Trombone Shorty

"Suburbia" (PDF) from the Trombone Shorty album, Backatown.
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The great thing about this album is that there are direct references to the musical styles that make up the contemporary New Orleans gumbo.  The first half of the album quotes the Rebirth Brass Band, Little Feat, Afro-Cuban heritage and soulful roots music.  Yet the second half shines a light on the youthfulness of Trombone Shorty and the path that he is carving for the future of Nawlins music.

Appropriately titled, "Suburbia" captures the punk rock energy from the outskirts of city life.  In it's essence, this is a guitar song.  Punk rock isn't overly complicated, either; it's energy comes from breaking free from the established traditions.  When was the last time (first time?) you heard distorted guitar with horns?

But I'm a tradtitonalist, so let's talk about this one.  I found that the melody slightly resembles John Williams' "May The Force Be With You" theme from Star Wars.  Consider it.  The second half of the melody is all rhythm, and what a great rhythmic exercise!  Set the metronome for "Slow" and work your way up.  And relax into it!  As for the solo, it's all an F minor scale.  If you're improvising, try an F half-whole diminshed scale and see what you get.

Also, Shorty pinches out a superduperhigh F (two above middle C).  Now, I don't know much about playing way up there, but I would argue that this F is in the "whistle tone" range.  Yet, it sounds like there's a decent attack to the note and the tone is present enough that it's clearly an F.  All I can say is, "Good luck with that one!"

Here's a YouTube video of the band in action with this tune.  Watching it, I realize how awesomely silly this instrument really is.  Enjoy!

Recommended Reading: Gates of Eden by Ethan Coen.  Published by Dell Publishing.