John "Tbone" Paxton & the RJ Spangler Quintet

Back in Your Own Backyard

Detroit - Following in his father's musical steps, Tbone is a true son of the jazz age. He has played with many of Detroit's great band leaders. Fans of Detroit Music Factory recording group Planet D Nonet know Tbone as the band's featured singer and trombone soloist, but he has also shared stages with such prominent jazz, blues and R&B luminaries as Earl King, Sir Mack Rice, Pinetop Perkins and Eddie Palmieri. The tracks on "Back in Your Own Backyard" are a selection of pre-WWII jazz and transitional rhythm and blues tunes. They're not the most famous tunes, but they're some of the most moving. This isn't Gershwin or Cole Porter; these are tunes from the dark corners of "The Great American Songbook," or as Tbone likes to call them, "the non-standard standards." 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.

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