Perhaps this final track on the album was intended to be an encore of sorts, a recognizable pop tune that sends the listener home singing its melody. Unlike the album’s previous popular selection, the ballad “When I Fall In Love,” Craig Klein closes the album with an instrumental version of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” as a gentle Caribbean groove for musical retrospection. While Marley’s lyrics reiterate the lessons that he learned throughout the years, he invites the listener to share in his wisdom: “Won’t you help to sing these songs of freedom?”
And perhaps this was Klein’s intention as well, to share the music of New Orleans with the audience as told through the trombone. Skeptical early on in the transcribing process, I expected this album to be a collection of trombone phrases and techniques specific to brass band music. But what I learned from researching the album’s music and song histories was that the variety of styles is what makes up the "-isms" of New Orleans music: from early jazz and blues to swing, from gospel to show tunes, from Mardi Gras rhythms to funk, from funeral dirges to Caribbean lullabies; Craig Klein demonstrates the trombone’s ability to assimilate with many genres as a lead instrument. Like a college student with a guitar who enjoys getting high, I have since emancipated myself from mental slavery in regard to the limitations of the trombone.
Far out, like whoa.
Here is a YouTube video of Craig Klein performing with Sebastien Arruti and Delfayo Marsalis. You can pretty much guess what happens.
Recommended reading: How to Make It in the New Music Business by Ari Herstand. Published by Liveright Publishing Corporation.