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Ninth Avenue Hustle Bass Trombone and Piano

Program Notes

Composed in 2004 at the request of bass trombonist David Ridge, Ninth Avenue Hustle was written in two versions, one with orchestra, one with piano. It features an instrument that at first I knew very little about -- other than it could play really, really low notes -- but I’ve come to love the bass trombone and its unique voice as a solo instrument. A celebratory one-movement piece, all the material comes from the big chord and opening theme in the first measures and, hopefully, evokes the stimulation, energy and drama of living in a big city. The piece is dedicated, with affection and gratitude, to David Ridge and Lino Rivera.

Click here to listen: David Ridge, Principal Bass Trombone, San Francisco Opera Orchestra; Lino Rivera, piano   Duration: 10:30

Available on Emerson Records.

"This is a terrific piece of music that is also a virtuoso display piece for the bass trombone.  It requires excellent dynamic control, command of a four-octave range and great flexibility. The trombonist must be able to negotiate a wide gamut of styles, from long lyrical legato lines, to multiple tonguing, to quick shifts of register.  Another important requirement is a very secure pedal range, which descends down to CC.  Although unique, the musical language has faint echoes of William Schuman, with its bi-tonal harmonic structure, jazz informed rhythms and sheer energy.  The piano part, while not as virtuosic as the trombone part, requires a performer with good technique and excellent rhythmic skills.  Again, let me repeat, a terrific piece of music!"

Journal of the International Trombone Association