Is America great, regardless of who occupies the Oval Office? Your answer probably depends on your point of view, your life experience and your economic opportunities (or lack thereof). It’s undeniable, though, that rootsy American music of the kind offered by trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and his Uptown Jazz Orchestra remains richly textured and expertly performed, effectively drawing from vintage and modern jazz styles, blues, hip-hop and spoken word.
Our country is “a melting pot of diversity fighting a juggernaut of adversity,” Wendell Pierce, who played a trombonist on the HBO series Treme, says on the album’s cheekily named title track. It’s a jaunty tune, largely driven by drummer Herlin Riley, that strolls and swings and offers faux-cheery singing by multiple voices. Will the installation of a seemingly myopic reality TV star as leader of the free world cue a new era of meaningful protest music? Stay tuned.