Glen David Andrews is a party ringmaster
New Orleans music man Glen David Andrews is part preacher, R&B singer, jazz vocalist, trombonist and Crescent City music lesson. And he’s all showman, entertainer and party ringmaster.
On Wednesday at the Dakota Jazz Club, he showed a Louis Armstrong rasp, Al Green falsetto, a Thomas Dorsey sense of spirituals, James Brown moves with a microphone stand, some Trombone Shorty licks on the trombone and some Robin Williams-like manic energy. While his versatile musicality shined, what impressed the most during his two hourlong sets  was his ability and instincts for creating a seamless party atmosphere.
He paraded through the crowd playing his trombone and singing without a microphone. He teased Dakota owner Lowell Pickett from the stage and invited a parade of area horn players to sit in with his four sidemen from New Orleans. There was tuba player Erik Jacobson from Madison’s Mama Digdown Brass Band (who looks like sportscaster Mark Rosen) and trumpeter Dan Eikmeier and trombonist Darren Sterud from Minnesota's own Davina & the Vagabonds.
Like Andrews and his players, the guests just winged it onstage. For instance, the closing number in the second set started out with a bass line from Vickie Sue Robinson’s disco classic “Turn the Beat Around” underneath some horn lines that suggested Gnarls Barkley and OutKast with Andrews ad libbing lyrics and eventually detouring into a sing-along of Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” The vamp stretched to 35 minutes of nonstop fun – complete with Mardi Gras beads tossed to the crowd and some smokin' trumpet, trombone and tuba solos.
Andrews, 30, also proved his vocal prowess with spirited spiritual takes on “We Shall Overcome” and “St. James Infirmiary” and a gorgeously jazzy transformation of “Autumn Leaves” into a medley of “Magnolia Leaves” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”
For some clubgoers, Andrews might have done too much jiving and not enough trombone playing. But his mission is to create a New Orleans-flavored party. And that he did. That’s why Thursday’s return engagement should draw another full house at the Dakota. (Davina and the Vagabonds will do a short opening set Thursday.)
One unsolicited suggestion for this showman with big-time star potential: Like his cousin Trombone Shorty did, Andrews, who plays himself on HBO’s “Treme,” needs to come up with a more distinctive stage moniker. Because you remember his show but not necessarily his name.

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