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Tbone Paxton & the RJ Spangler Quartet
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John “Tbone” Paxton’s discography spans dozens and dozens of recording projects, but his 2020 release on Detroit Music Factory,
Back in Your Own Backyard marks the first time he’s the featured artist on a full-length CD. He’s joined on the record by his longtime musical partner and fellow Detroit Music Factory recording artist, drummer RJ Spangler, as well as the RJ Spangler Quartet,
and a number of guest artists.
Tbone’s performance throughout the record is much like his live performances. Behind the trombone, he connects with his audience through his soulful phrasing and sense of swing. When he steps out as a singer, he breaks down the distance between the music and the listener with a vocal delivery that imbues the lyrics with personal meaning. When he sings, he feels it, and so do you.
“My perspective is from live performance,” he says. “It’s what I’ve done my whole life. My main concern as an artist is to be emotionally honest and authentic. When you do that, people get it. They understand the music.”
While the music of Back in Your Own Backyard was written nearly a hundred years ago, Tbone finds energy in a growing number of younger listeners. He points out that the live music scene in New Orleans is filled with enthusiasts in their 20s and 30s that are fully engaged, from a deep cultural understanding, with pre-war jazz.
“Young people are really digging reaching back in time,” says Tbone. “Because it’s jazz, there’s still freshness and spontaneity in the
experience. It’s still being performed live so they’re able to appreciate it for the artistry that it is.”Read More About Tbone Paxton & the RJ Spangler Quartet
“People love hearing two saxophones,” says tenor player Steve Wood. “But it’s more than just the idea of the conflict. I think another thing that people like about it is that both guys are playing the same instrument, but they sound completely different. It’s kind of interesting how two people can take the same instrument and yet sound so totally unlike each other.”
Wood studied music at one of the country’s first jazz programs, under the direction of Marvin “Doc” Holiday at Oakland University. He’s one of the two tenor saxophone players featured in Detroit Tenors. The group’s debut Detroit Music Factory recording, by the same name, is very much about the two-tenor saxophone tradition in jazz.
Detroit Tenors the record, like Detroit Tenors the band, is a shared vision between Wood and fellow tenor saxophone player, Carl Cafagna.
27 | Feb
John T-Bone Paxton and the RJ Spangler Quartet will host an release party for their new album, “Back in Your Own Backyard.”
It’ll be held on Sunday, March 1, at Cliff Bell’s in downtown Detroit. The start time is set for 7 p.m.
26 | Feb
For local jazzheads, the name John “Tbone” Paxton is a familiar one. Not only as a celebrated trombone soloist and rotating bandleader for Planet D Nonet, the Sun Messengers, and others, but also as a jazz and rhythm vocalist.