Like Koko and All Ball, these two make for an unusual pair rarely found together in the wild, the trombone and guitar. This odd couple of instruments are the perfect strangers for making a dynamic duo, and Craig Klein’s accompaniment provides the up-tempo percussive back-beat that mimics tambourine claps, so as to re-create the front porch gospel sounds of New Orleans.
Still, it is an unconventional format for a duet, be it for the overlapping acoustic range or the giant, unwieldy egos associated with the instruments forced to play nice with each other, but Klein and guitarist Bert Cotton work well together because it is a collaboration of melody and rhythm. The real sound of New Orleans music is a conversation, a call and response as a measure of the liveliness between two voices. And when the conversation is amplified, through the means of the trademark brass band parade, “the sound is an integrated whole,” as Matt Sakakeeny described it in his book, Roll With It, “a polyphony of voices that is made of actual voices as well as instruments” (61).
It is an example that we all can follow, a “polyphony of voices” relating in song, movement, or in action, and when a common language is shared it somehow works. So the next time you play your horn, just remember to picture a gorilla holding a kitten, and everything will be just peas and carrots.
Here is a YouTube video of Bonerama playing along with a new friend.
Recommended reading: Name of the Devil: A Jessica Blackwood Novel by Andrew Mayne. Published by Bourbon Street Books.