An accident, a mistake—or so the enigmatic trombonist and composer Joey Sellers describes his debut solo trombone recording. Known for his remarkable compositions for larger ensembles, “What the...?” presents a witty, humorous and economical look into Sellers’ creative mind. The project sprang to life when a recording session for the Algonquin Quartet was cancelled at the last minute. Alone in the studio, Sellers recorded several tracks drawn from ideas about small form composition that had long been haunting the prolific composer. Moved by the striking outcome of these initial “accidental” tracks, Sellers returned to the studio to flesh out more ideas. In Sellers’ words, the “resulting recording is a whimsical romp through a mid-life crisis.” But don’t let his sense of humor distract from his masterful performance. “What the...?” belongs to a rare class of solo trombone recordings that includes George Lewis’ “The Solo Trombone Record” and Albert Mangelsdorff’s “Tromboneliness.” Even more than this, “What the...?” places Sellers amongst the most innovative and creative trombonists active on the West Coast.
“Sellers blends structure and surprise with a deftness that should leave other arrangers genuflecting.”
-The Penguin Guide to Jazz
“Sellers is one of few composers whose ideas actually press into new shapes; it’s not just a half dozen soloists coloring a big band core.”
-New York Times
“There’s little typical about his pen.”
-The Village Voice