You what song I can’t get out of my mind? “Mambo No. 5.” And really it’s only the part of the song where he says “The trumpet! The trumpet!” If there’s a perfume called “Essence of Hell No. 5” Lou Bega is certainly the creator of it. I can’t stand the song, but what do I listen for? Yep, “The trumpet! The trumpet!” I hate you Lou! But I’m grateful, too. Simply because Lou gave me an idea for a mix. Yes, “Mambo No. 5” made me start thinking of pop songs where the trumpet takes a solo, and once I started down that road, well the following mix fell into place pretty quickly. Enjoy!
From Denver, this band is one of those rare acts who was helped by radio — before they got signed to a major label. How often does that happen in this day and age? I started hearing this tune on my local modern rock station in San Francisco a couple of month ago, and was struck by the clever way the band blends musical styles. The are also noted for their commitment to social activism and progressive causes. Trumpet solo by Joe Ferrone.
“Short Skirt, Long Jacket,” Cake
Gee, it seems like I couldn’t quite shake that “Musical DNA” mix I did a couple of weeks ago. If Flobots don’t openly acknowledge the influence of Cake in their music, well, I would imagine that the boys from Cake would like to have a word or two with them. I put these two songs side by side because the are so similar in many ways. Plus we get to hear that distinctive trumpet by Vince DiFiore.
“Streetcorner Ambassador,” Michelle Shocked
This was a tough album for me to warm up to, because the production value were just a little too slick — especially when it comes to the subject matter of this song. I mean, you have a song about homeless people and it’s crafted in such a way that if you didn’t bother to listen to the lyrics, you could easily sit there with your glass of Pinot Noir and blithely snap your fingers along with the cool, muted trumpet of Lee Thornburg.
“I Confess,” The English Beat
For those old enough to remember when this band hit the shores of the U.S., what was your first introduction? Did you say the video for “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by The Police? Yeah, I thought so… I was looking on the album credits for the trumpeter on this tune and two are listed: Dave Lord and Steve Sidwell. Which one took the lead on this tune is a mystery to me.
“Face the Face,” Pete Townshend
Biographical note: I have a cousin who lived in White City when it was a housing development in London (called council houses). It wasn’t the nicest of areas in the ’60s -’80s, but if you want to know why it’s called White City, have a look at this video. Before you do, however, enjoy Roddy Lorimer’s trumpet playing on this upbeat number by Townshend.
“Red Light,” U2
This haunting and atmospheric tune boasts a really fine trumpet solo by Kenny Fradley. The title suggests the song is about prostitution and from the opening lyrics, it’s pretty clear someone (probably Bono) is trying very hard to save a trapped soul from what some say is the world’s oldest profession: I talk to you/You walk away/You’re still on the down beat/You say you don’t want my help/But you can’t escape/If your running from yourself/I give you my love/I give you my love/Give you my love/Still you walk away.