"Feel Like Funkin' It Up" - Rebirth Brass Band
According to the United States' Library of Congress, its purpose is to "further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people." Its approach to this is to build a growing archive of recordings and artifacts that document historic creative achievements in American history, and many of these recordings are available online to the general public. That being said, I hereby nominate this recording of "Feel Like Funkin' It Up" as one of the most badass trombone performances in recent history.
Take the first eight bars of the solo, for example. No, wait. It can all really be summed up in the first four bars. There are moments within music that somehow speak The Truth (i.e, Jimi Hendrix's "Machine Gun," Al Green's "I Want To Hold Your Hand"), which it's hard to describe, but you know it once you hear it.
In this example, it is predominantly about the bluesy tone and power of the trombone. The first phrase is a declaration of its presence, much like the image of Gabriel's Horn in modern-day spirituals. Additionally, the first note is a high C, the 13th of the chord that wants to resolve down, so there is instant tension just from that first note. Even as it walks down to the Ab, the tension remains outside of the tonal harmony until the minor third, Gb, finally forces the melody back home to Eb. The phrase is essentially repeated, except that it begins on a high Bb, the resolution of the high C. These eight bars are a perfect example of tension and release within tension and release.
And transpose it in all keys.
Here is a YouTube video of the band playing a few months ago, here in Chicago. Notice how the two trombones play differently, one plays the powerful rhythmic punches while the other plays lighter melodies that dance around the leads.
Recommended Reading: Free To Solo: An Easy Approach to Improvising in Funk, Soul, Latin, Folk and Jazz Styles by Rob Hughes and Paul Harvey. Published by Schott Music.