Practicing a routine every morning can be a precarious balancing act between a zen-like meditation on trombone fundamentals and a disturbed obsession that eventually leads to boredom. I joke, but I’ve been recently looking for ways to vary my routine (which you can read more about here and here). I came up with this variation a few days ago and even though it’s still relatively untested, I like it a lot so far. Here it is:
I like it for a few reasons. First, it shifts the emphasis from the bottom of the trombone’s range to the middle and upper registers. Second, I’m thinking it will be a more efficient use of my time in the practice room (although, like I mentioned before, I haven’t been practicing this way for very long). Third, it’s a combination of the really fundamental lip slur routine I’ve been doing for years and the partial skipping lip slurs I got into about a year ago.
January has been a good month for the OPQ. We got a review of our CD Low Contrast in the January issue of Cadence Magazine, where they called the album a “fresh and fun slant on some classic materials”. Also, Jazz Today, a radio show out of the United Kingdom is playing Kathy’s tune My Waltz on their January 26th show. We’re really pumped that the word is getting out on our little album, and if you haven’t checked it out, now’s the time! Check it out here! Special thanks go to Jerome Wilson at Cadence and Pete Butchers at Jazz Today. Thanks for the extra push, guys!
We also had an awesome gig on January 22nd at the Lily Pad. First, Kathy played with Allan Chase’s Baritone Summit. I can honestly say that if you haven’t had your innards scrambled by four bari saxes playing at one time, you have yet to truly live. Audio from that is probably forthcoming on Kathy’s website, but to tide you over, there’s this video I recorded:
For those keeping track at home, the bari sax players were, starting from the left:
and the group also had:
Brian Friedland – piano
Bruno Raberg – bass
Austin McMahon – drums
Second, the OPQ played. The set was a ton of fun, and we had Allan Chase and Ben Whiting sit in with us. Here’s the audio:
Tygart Valley by Kathy Olson
On the DL by Randy Pingrey (Ben Whiting has the first bari solo)
Hide Your Heart from Sight by Kathy Olson (Allan Chase has the first bari solo)
My Waltz by Kathy Olson
Lester’s Lady by Randy Pingrey
The personel for the OPQ was:
Kathy Olson – bari sax
Randy Pingrey – trombone
Mark Zaleski – bass
Austin McMahon – drums
Recently, I’ve found that practicing partial-skipping lip slurs to be very beneficial for my trombone playing. It’s a very specific type of exercise, and I wasn’t 100% happy with any of the method books I had in how they covered it. Brad Edward’s amazing lip slur book (you can buy it here) introduced me to the concept, but I wanted a concentrated sampling of different exercises to pick and choose from.
I took some time to write a few out, and I figured it would be nice to put it up here. Happy practicing!
Things have been busy, here at trombonist-at-large HQ, but some exciting things are on the horizon! Coming very very soon is a post on the concert that James, Jerry, and I gave on October 1st, including the score and audio from the gig, plus (potentially) special supplementary materials.
Also coming soon are some exciting gigs – with the Randy Pingrey Trio and other groups – and some documentation on the exciting changes that are happening in my little insane trombone world.
A big thanks to everyone who came out last night! The concert went quite well, and I am extremely grateful to Peter Terry for having us play and to be willing to let me experiment. Watch this space in the next few days for documentation of the concert – I’ll put up the whole concert and the score to what we played, just as soon as I have time to process it.