Category: News Page

News of all sorts about Rick Trolsen, his compositions,solo performances, bands and participation in other music projects

Hold On. A Song For The Moment.

Hold On. A Song for the Moment. Click to Listen

Hold On
 © 2021 Rick Trolsen

Primordial Epiphany

The Primordial Epiphany is the debut album of Neslorchestra and represents an evolutionary extension of bandleader Rick Trolsen’s well-regarded group Neslort.  Trolsen spent two years composing and rescoring new music as well recent favorites to create his suite and well crafted sonic stew of Rock, Blues, and Jazz with  of Folk and Classical   “Trolsen employs…the great unsung musicians of New Orleans to execute his vision of overdriven Zappa-esque fusion, tight 1970s big band charts, and lovely melodies and harmonies.” Offbeat Magazine


  1. A Tyrant’s Invitation
  2. March of the Native Alien
  3. Hell Hath Awaketh
  4. The Tyrant’s Invitation
  5. A Ballad for Mankind
  6. Naked Frustration
  7. Maniacal Hysteria
  8. The Gift

The Debut of Neslorchestra

Rick Trolsen announces the debut performance of his seventeen-piece ensemble Neslorchestra on Friday, February 2nd at 2:00 pm in The New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S Mint. The Neslorchestra is a Rock & Jazz Big Band for which Rick has recently created “The Primordial Epiphany Suite”. This suite contains six movements of organic, original compositions in Trolsen’s definitive style called ”Primordial Fusion.” Rick has been writing new music and rescoring other recent favorites for this large ensemble during the last two years. While new, Neslorchestra also represents an evolutionary extension of Rick’s well regarded group Neslort which features music described within Offbeat as

“strikingly beautiful and well-played, shaped by Trolsen’s angular, chromatically dense arrangements and a level of performance from the band members that takes everything to another level”

Neslorchestra promises more of the same, but even more expansive. The  upcoming concert will, for the first time, expand Trolsen’s music to the symphonic heights as a natural progression of Neslort’s 25 year old journey.

Dear New Orleans….From Rio

Rio de Janeiro 2002

Dear New Orleans,

There’s no easy way to say this, but I have found myself suddenly taken in love with another city. Her name is Rio.

Much like you New Orleans, the people here embrace their music. They sing along, dance, eat, drink and flirt with the music. They are part of the band…there are no boundaries between the listeners and the musicians.

The culture here is deep, and the people have not abandoned their roots. Tradition is practiced in social life as well as in their religions. They celebrate Carnival just like you do my dear Orleans; only many more people dress in their regalia, and it’s practiced all across the nation. The lust for Life here is strong, as it is with you.

The music here is full of joy, sorrow, pain, love & hope. It moves my heart. This night, I found myself on a crowded dance floor moving to the rhythms and absorbed in the sound, much of which my reasoning mind has no understanding of. It doesn’t matter, for my spirit has taken flight. I have found my passion.

Love Always, Rick

Observations of Mystical Scam

Purchase Mystical Scam at Amazon

I have enjoyed the sounds of Bulgarian music for some time now. In “The Tyrants Invitation,” the basic theme quotes a Bulgarian melody. However, the subsequent melodies sound more Middle Eastern to me.*  It was written around the time that the USA invaded and occupied Iraq namely for the suspicion that Iraq was a depot of “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” At the time, I thought they went in there to take out their post 9/11 rage on an easy target rather than hunting down the real perpetrators, but more specifically, it is my belief that the USA was lured into the proverbial “Hornets’ Nest” by the Tyrant’s Invitation.

* I suppose this statement is an indicator that “my” music writes itself, and I am only the messenger/translator.

Why we humans put so much thought, money and time contemplating “Aliens” never ceases to amaze me. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how distinctively different we are from almost all other species here on earth. A good honest look at our behavior is proof enough that we indeed, are the “Aliens.” It’s just because we feel at home here, that we feel we native. Our continued abuse of this planet is what I consider to be “The March of the Native Aliens.”

There was a time in my life that I spent playing “Hippie” when I had no one to answer to. My theory was, and for the most part, still is, the less we humans do, the better off we all can be. I did very little in those days and truly believed that my Spartan lifestyle was saving the earth. I was living amongst 7th Day Adventists, Mormons, Christians, believers in the Urantia book, and many others who felt the same way. One day, with my eyes wide open, which meant I hadn’t smoked pot in several hours, I saw that we were ALL, hypocrites. We still went to Wal-Mart to buy tennis shoes assembled in Taiwan, produced from the rubber trees of the great rain forests. That we put so much faith in dogma whilst we practice the opposite and still believe we will be rewarded in “heaven,” is an indicator of a “Mystical Scam.”

I Found You” is a fun little ditty I wrote one afternoon on Octavia St. I named it in lieu of the fact that I had met the Love of my Life, Barbara. Somehow, I was lucky enough to have found her.

The “Blues for Man’s Extinction” was written in two parts. The music itself was written shortly after the Saudi Arabians hijacked planes and subsequently crashed them into the World Trade towers in NYC. The lyrics however, were written, shortly after the BP Oil, the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry,which flowed for three months in 2010. My optimistic look at the Life of the Earth relies in our own extinction.

I find those little card stock advertisements in magazines to be quite annoying, as they hinder the ease in finding the page you may be looking for. The products they are trying to sell can be quite annoying as well, mostly soliciting items that we don’t really need, or solutions to problems we should consult a doctor about, such as “Bedwetting for Example.”

As pessimistic as I can be, my idealistic side can come out shining sometimes. I am a firm believer in creative visualization. To quote Thoreau, “If one advances confidently in direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”  If we want a better life, we must first “Picture” it.

It is difficult in this workaday world to fin d silence. Everywhere you go it seems there is a constant “Noise.”

I love Yoga; someday my practice will make my death more pleasant than it otherwise might be. In some practices, ropes that are anchored in wall framing are used as props. The configuration is such that you can actually hang from them; they are strong. I have a set hanging from my wall. One evening after dinner and drinks, I was playing the piano while friends of mine were doing an interpretive dance using the ropes. Their dance inspired “The Yoga Rope Rag.”

Sure, we go to school, church, and other institutions in order to learn how to grow, survive, prosper and aspire to whatever titles or positions we desire. We think we are doing things all so correctly. Perfection is what a lot of us strive for. Perfection is illusive, and education is incomplete. For every one of us eventually comes upon a time in our lives we haven’t been prepared for. It’s these times that we are forced to improvise. Not knowing, is not necessarily a bad thing. Improvisation has easily led to the best moments in my life, not only in music, but in REAL LIFE. It’s even better when you have friends to improvise with. I named our little improvisation “After the Extinction.” I believe it paints the perfect sound!

To Hear what Rick’s Is Talking About: Buy this CD on Amazon.




Offbeat Review: Neslort’s music is strikingly beautiful and well-played

This just in from the January 2010 Issue of Offbeat,
a Review of Neslort’s Mystical Scam Album:


Listen and Buy Mystical Scam

Mystical Scam – Click to Buy

“Neslort’s music is strikingly beautiful and well-played, shaped by Trolsen’s angular, chromatically dense arrangements and a level of performance from the band members that takes everything to another level. The rhythm section of Matt Perrine on electric bass, Larry Sieberth on keys and Boyanna Trayanova on drums is supple and precise as it drives the unorthodox time signatures and layered pulses that place Trolsen, saxophonist Kyle Cripps and guitarist Tim Robertson in such esoteric contexts. Trolsen’s soloing in the midst of these gems of creative whimsy recalls Zappa stalwart Bruce Fowler’s jaunty fights of fancy. His singing is also surprisingly good in a Greg Lake/Jack Bruce kind of way.”

See the complete review written by John Swenson by clicking on this link.

New Orleans, La. – 10/30/11 – Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro – USA – Neslort live at the Snug Harbor

New Orleans, LA – 04/21/11 – Carrollton Station – Neslort with Woodenhead

New Orleans, La. – 04/09/11 – French Quarter Festival – US – Neslort plays the Abita Stage

A Rifftides Review of Mystical Scam

Doug Ramsay

From the Respected Music Blog Rifftides, considered  one of the best blogs for Jazz Students.

Most reviews and articles about the leader of Neslort (spell it backward) begin, “Eccentric New Orleans trombonist Rick Trolsen…” The reasons for that are apparent in this CD. Equally evident is Trolsen’s and the sextet’s musicianship, which merges street funk, bebop, electronica, rhythm and blues, New Orleans parade pzazz and—as in all good gumbos—a mystery ingredient or two. Tim Robertson’s pliant guitar licks, Kyle Cripps’ saxophones, Matt Perrine’s bass and tuba, Larry Sieberth’s keyboards and the popping vigor of Boyanna Trayanova’s drumming complement Trolsen’s blowsy trombone and his vocals, reminiscent of David Clayton-Thomas.

See the review on-site here.

Sea of Tranquility Review

Mystical Scam – Click to Buy

A review of Mystical Scam …..

“Neslort has delivered a unique album that does not really sound like anything else I have heard recently and that is precisely what makes Mystical Scam such a satisfying listen”

“Neslort are a new Orleans band that are difficult to categorize considering they play a gamut of styles including funk, jazz, fusion, psyche and rock. The leader of the band is Rick Trolsen on trombone and vocals – you may have noticed Neslort is his last name spelled backwards. Other members of the band are Kyle Cripps (tenor, soprano saxophones), Tim Robertson (electric guitar), Larry Sieberth (keyboards), Matt Perrine (electric bass, tuba) and Boyanna Trayanova (drums).

“The band formed in 1991 only to break up in 1998. Their new comeback album Mystical Scam is an excellent listen. Their website proclaims “Primordial Fusion since 1991” and who am I to argue with that. Although the music is melodic, this is not an easy listen as there is a depth and complexity here that may take a few listens to fully appreciate.

“Trolsen’s trombone is all over this album which makes for an interesting sound as this is not something you hear very much in rock music. Three of the tracks contain vocals and I quite like Trolsen’s deep, soulful voice. The rest of the musicians are no slouches either and all do a fine job whether playing as a tight unit or adding snippets of improvisational jamming.”

See the entire review at the Sea of Tranquility website by clicking here

New Orleans, La. – 02/22/11 – The Rock n\’ Bowl – USA – Neslort plays the Rock n\’ Bowl