Your FAVORITE trombone solos

Hello trombone world. It has been quite some time since I last posted on this blog so I thought I would get the ball rolling again.

This will be a tough 2-part question, but I’ll ask it nonetheless:
What is your FAVORITE jazz trombone solo?

One of my students asked me this yesterday and I had a tough time narrowing it down to just one. And by “tough time,” I mean I couldn’t do it. I could come up with six:

1) Frank Rosolino on “Please Don’t Bug Me” from his LP Turn Me Loose

2) Alan Ferber on “Exoskeleton Part IV” from The Distance by Michael Formanek’s Ensemble Kolossus

3) Steve Davis on “Blue Bossa” from The Continents by Chick Corea

4) Slide Hampton on “My Blues” from A Day In Copenhagen

5) Carl Fontana on “Strike Up the Band” from Cream of the Crop – The Great American Trombone Company

6) Conrad Herwig on “Jazz Folk Song” from Sleepless Nights by Walt Weiskopf

I look forward to the responses.

Happy tromboning!

April 2016 ITA Journal

Check out Andrew Hamilton’s great article on Frank Rosolino in the April 2016 ITA Journal. It is fantastic, as is the discography, which might help those of us that hold Frank in high regard top off our collection of his recordings. Pages 16-18. Andrew is a trombonist based in Miami.

Now, for the all-important question: Who is your favorite trombone improvisor?

Charlier Etudes

First of all, get this etude book if you can. It is one of the hippest books you will find and I’ve had mine for decades. Open it up to page 6, which should correspond to etude #1. The tempo marking is dotted quarter=100 but change that to eighth note=60. And play it up an octave. By the second line, you will realize if you are using proper air support and/or too much pressure. This is a great workout for stamina AND clarity and precision in the upper register. Proceed through the book in this manner. I just Googled “Charlier trombone etudes” and this was the first hit –

Check it out if you don’t already have one. You won’t be disappointed!

Happy etuding!


If you were asked to sub at a rehearsal with a very good band (big band, show, brass band, whatever), would you or would you not want to bring the following items – in addition to your trombone and mouthpiece?
1) Your mutes (see previous posting)
2) A pencil

It’s not rocket science… It IS professionalism!


Hello all of you out in TROMBONELAND!

Here is the scenario:
You are a teacher in the middle of a lesson with a college student. The student, who has been working on, say, “Have You Met Miss Jones” for a month, continues to miss the changes in the bridge. When you point this out to the student, they reply with, “Are you sure?”


Lacquered or unlacquered?

I recently removed the lacquer from the bell of my TR430 Courtois trombone, which is the original prototype for this model. Due to the thickness of the bell metal, the horn slotted incredibly well, giving each pitch a well-rounded core. Since I removed the lacquer, it is even BETTER!!! Do any trombonists have thoughts on this subject?


The blogosphere…. one more thing to take up valuable time!  However, we will discuss trombone related issues here so I welcome any comments!

First post…. Trombonists (and all brass players for that matter), please make it a habit to show up to every big band gig you do with the following mutes:

You can purchase all of these mutes for less than $100 and if you take care of them, the chances are good that you will have them for decades. There is nothing worse than sitting in a trombone section where two of the four members are sans mutes, having forgotten them or, in some cases, having never owned any! Not cool.