The trombone is the most forlorn instrument of them all. No serious musician ever desires to play an horn that was once named the sackbut and produces a flatulent tone. It is a silly instrument.
Often overlooked, the trombone has resigned itself to the misfits of the orchestra. If the orchestra was picking teams for a game of kickball, the trombone would be picked last, like the sad kid who has a peculiar size-18 club for a right foot. Sure, he could probably use the cudgel to put a wallop on the ball, but dragging the freaky appendage around the bases will inevitably slow him down. The trombone in glorious form can be powerful, but when given too much attention, it turns into a sideshow.
Other more anomalous instruments were picked for the team way before settling on the trombone. For instance, the clunky oboe, of which its original name translates as "a bundle of sticks," is often sought after every Christmas season for performances of Tchaikovsky's ballet, The Nutcracker. Even the french horn (or freedom horn), with its miles of impossible tubing and resonant bell that projects away from the audience (not to mention the hand stuffed inside, acting as a mute), is still more desirable than the trombone. Sad, really.
Finally as a desperate act of civic duty, the great humanitarian, Louis Armstrong, who also happen to play a mean trumpet, adopted trombonist, "Kid" Ory, into his band while living in Chicago. Ory was part of the Great Trombone Flood of Chicago, the result of all the trombones in New Orleans being sent upstream via the Mississippi River after being used as paddles from the ships arriving at the crescent city. Armstrong settled upon the trombone sideman only because the saxophone had not yet caught a case of the blues, the chicken pox of music.
It is a little known fact that the original name for the saxophone was the "Satchmophone." But due to the practice of segregation at the time, the marketers of the saxophone did not want the instrument to be seen playing alongside a trombone. This remains a little know fact because it is untrue.
Although, it is common knowledge that trombone players omit a nauseating body odor. Or so I've been told. More than once.
I take pity on the trombone because I realized that the Rebirth Brass Band, one of New Orleans' legendary bands, is not really a trombone band. Indeed, it does prominently feature the trombone (the only solo on this tune, in fact), and the horn is an integral part of its wall of sound, but the band was not originated by trombonist. And because the liner notes for this album are not digitally available, I am unaware of which members of the band compose its tunes. I assume that it is not a trombonist. Every dog knows its own... again, the odor. But I suppose we should just be glad to be picked for the team. C'mon gargantuan foot, let's go kick some balls.
SPECIAL THANKS to A for the comments!
To the unaccustomed, trombone players sure can appear to be strange people. Here's a YouTube video of Rebirth's Stafford Agee in his free time during Mardi Gras season.
Recommended reading: More Information Than You Require by John Hodgman. Published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.