Solo Trombone

There is this tradition of solo trombone improvising.  In Derek Bailey’s book on improvisation:

The most interesting soloists to my ears often turn out to be trombonists.  Paul Rutherford and George Lewis, in their different ways, both seem to make improvisation the basis of their solo playing and also take advantage of the “singleness” of the solo situation; happy for the music to sound like one person, playing alone.     pg.109

Well, that sounds like an interesting thing to explore!  Today, on a whim, I recorded some solo improvisations.


I’m working on developing a solo language.  I have to say, it’s challenging for me to improvise all by myself for any extended period of time – I think the longest track is two or three minutes, and most of them are closer to half that.  There are stories about Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell really focusing on individual details of music in order to extend their improvisations, and I can totally understand why.  My personal favorite is the fourth track, because it has that focus which is lacking in the other three.

I’ve also never quite wrapped my head around what Derek Bailey means by “singleness”, at least in the sense that, desipite working on solo playing for about a year, I have yet to be able to enjoy the emptiness.

Anyways, I’ll continue to work on it.  One person, playing alone.  Thanks for listening!


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