Travels with My Trombone

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The author of a previous travel book, SONS OF THE MOON (1989), Henry Shukman was so captivated by an earlier trip to the Caribbean that he used his talent for playing the trombone to enter into the exciting music world of the region. He left London for Trinidad, where he joined a calypso band, the Blue Ventures. It was during the wild and frenzied time of Carnival that he played with the group. There was one party after another; and for Shukman, the rum seemed to freely flow and sexual intrigue was around every corner. The author describes with great relish how he became caught up in the eroticism and mysticism of the region.

During the course of these travels, Shukman was twenty-seven. This adventure became a sensual pilgrimage, where music set the rhythm for the entire escapade. Besides Trinidad, Shukman traveled to Dominica, Guadeloupe, Grenada, and—eventually—Colombia. Whether engaged to play calypso, reggae, salsa, zouk, or folk music, the author’s enthusiasm never lagged. Although danger was never far removed, the overall exhilaration of the experience pushed Shukman along. TRAVELS WITH MY TROMBONE is a delight, and it can only be hoped that Shukman brings as much enthusiasm to his next project.