Category Archives: Solo Trombone

None but the lonely trumpet…


Dave Douglas on solo brass playing at Destination:OUT


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Chasing after Derek Bailey (Trio and Part Two of my Solo Experiment)

No time to write right now, but I wanted to put up a sneak peak of my very new project with a trio of horns.  These are the three tunes we’re going to play tomorrow night at Rutman’s.  James was so kind as to bring his recording device to the rehearsal:

Thrashing on a Riff
Piece for Trio

Working with James (the saxophonist) and Joe (the trumpeter) is a real pleasure – they are both so wonderful!  Please come on 6/26 and check out how these pieces have developed since we recorded them a few days ago.

I’ve also continued to work on solo playing.  Here are a few tracks I recorded on the 22nd or 23rd:


It’s a small step forward in the development of a certain type of solo voice.  I’ll try and update later, with my thoughts on what I’ve worked on since my last entry.

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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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