As the busy summer season wraps up, Trombone Shorty returns from his European tour with a brand new album. And as a Thank You to my followers for your patience this summer, I offer up a transcription of Shorty's new single, "Fire & Brimstone." Welcome back!
I must admit that I always get chills when Shorty announces his presence at the top of a trombone solo. The first phrase stays primarily within one octave range, while the second phrase relies heavily on a syncopated rhythm, and the third phrase features the sextuplet rhythm that mimics a double-time swing feel. Whew.
But what I want to emphasize is that Shorty uses the G minor pentatonic scale for a majority of this solo. When he does use non-pentatonic notes, they tend to be just a half-step off the chord tone, which creates a tension or rub that ultimately resolves. Also, in the seventh bar of the solo, he plays around a D7b9 chord that shapes the resolution of the phrase in the next bar.
And I don't really know what to say about those sextuplet rhythms. I am still working on mine.
Here is a YouTube video of highlights from one of Trombone Shorty's festival appearances from the summer.
Recommended Reading: Traditional New Orleans Jazz: Conversations With The Men Who Make The Music by Thomas W. Jacobsen. Published by Louisiana State University Press.