Rick Trolsen, Rick Trolsen’s New Orleans Po’Boys (Lort Records)

Rick Trolsen, Rick Trolsen's New Orleans Po'Boys, album cover

Rick Trolsen is an extremely versatile musician and certainly one of the top trombonists in the city. Indeed, no less of an authority than veteran bandleader Al Belletto has called him the “best trombone player in the country.” Now that’s high praise.

Trolsen’s talent and versatility are well illustrated in this recording in a variety of ways. In addition to some fine trombone work, he can also be heard in gravelly vocals on several tracks, most notably on his six original compositions among the CD’s 16 tracks, and, as a most pleasant surprise, his singing and fine piano playing on the final track.

At the same time, he has assembled an excellent group of collaborators for this session. They include the wonderful Charlie Fardella, trumpet and vocals; the distinctive Bruce Brackman, clarinet; John Rodli, guitar and vocal; Russell Welch, guitar; Steve Braun, bass; and Benji Bohannon, drums. As those names should indicate, the group’s musical style is traditional, and they play such old warhorses as “St. Louis Blues,” “San,” “Smiles,” “I Cover the Waterfront,” “Bye Bye Blues,” “At Sundown” and “Running Wild.”

This is first-rate Dixieland jazz played by guys who know what they’re doing and, at the same time, a fun musical experience. Incidentally, you’ll be interested to hear Trolsen’s voice introducing soloists and speaking to listeners on several tracks.