Parking Lot Symphony (Blue Note)
Making his debut for venerable jazz label Blue Note, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews slides comfortably into rich, intimate grooves weaving stripped-down funk and blues and loose, playful horns into a seemingly D'Angelo-inspired spin on his incarnation of New Orleans R&B. Fittingly, he takes a nearly straightforward stab at Ernie K-Doe's classic "Here Come the Girls," wedged into 10 original tracks, from the tight pocket of "Dirty Water" to a second-line beat filling out "Tripped Out Slim." With Parking Lot Symphony, Shorty dutifully (and beautifully) bridges the past and present of New Orleans music with a confident voice he can call his own.
Shorty presides over his annual Treme Threauxdown at 8 p.m. April 29 at the Saenger Theatre and at Shorty Fest at 8 p.m. May 4 at House of Blues.
Life is Not a Football (Royal Potato Family)
It was highly unlikely the versatile, unpredictable percussionist would sit quietly for long. After 2016's excellent, subdued tribute to Elliott Smith and Martin Denny, among others, on Functioning Broke, Dillon returns with his Mike Dillon Band apostles (bassist Nathan Lambertson, guitarist Cliff Hines and drummer Paul Thibodeaux), game to follow his noisy jazz and punk experiments into heavy, heady madness. The album hits Melvins-esque guttural grooves and near-industrial and doom-like breakdowns riding Minutemen-inspired rockets, bringing Dillon's social and political commentary and octopus-like command of his vibraphones and percussion instruments along for the trip.
Among his many upcoming performances, Dillon leads the Mike Dillon Band at 10 p.m. April 28 at Blue Nile and 10 p.m. May 2 at Siberia, and 6 p.m. May 4 at the Music Box Village with his massive Punk Rock Percussion Consortium.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
So It Is (Legacy Recordings)
A trip to Cuba provided inspiration for the Preservation Hall Band's latest album of original work, So It Is. With the exception of the title track's bluesy flirtation with bop, the album packs a burst of upbeat tempos and exuberant sounds, recorded with the help of producer David Sitek of TV on the Radio. Charlie Gabriel (saxophone, clarinet) and artistic director Ben Jaffe (bass, tuba) wrote most of the album's seven songs, and "La Malanga" (by Jaffe and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger) is steeped in Latin rhythms. The album was released April 21. The Preservation Hall Band begins its Midnight Pre-serves series of late-night concerts with special guests at Preservation Hall Friday, April 28.
Creatures (Rhyme & Reason)
On its anticipated debut album, the charming indie pop ensemble — buoyed by harmonized wordless chants and Alexis Marceaux's captivating voice — carries its mission statement of marrying talented pop songcraft with Louisiana French-speaking traditions. But the band's big pop hooks are universal. Sparkling synth and powerful percussion sing alongside whimsical fiddle plucks and a generous affection for rowdy Louisiana dance halls.
The band performs at 11 p.m. May 4 at d.b.a. and 10 p.m. May 6 at the Civic Theatre.
Luke Spurr Allen featuring
the Happy Talk Band
Pothole Heart (Chicken Little)
The latest from singer-songwriter Luke Spurr Allen digs into folk, campfire country and rock 'n' roll with his dive bar storytelling. His Happy Talk Band — Mike Andrepoint, Steve Calandra, Casey McAllister, Alex McMurray and Bailey Smith — are joined by The Tin Men and appearances from Helen Gillet, Meschiya Lake and Tasche de la Rocha, among others. The album was recorded at Bywater studio House of 1000 Hz and Uptown's Blue Velvet Studios and was inspired by the countless potholes and broken hearts in between.
The band's album release is 10 p.m. Saturday, May 20 at Siberia.