The trombone is vital to jazz. Perhaps the first band actually identified as a “jazz” band was led by trombonist Tom Brown and consisted merely of trumpet, trombone, clarinet and drums. While the trumpet was the centerpiece of early jazz music, it was the smearing tailgate style of trombone that epitomized the era. The liberated glissandos helped to tear down conventions of the time and were often imitated by other instruments. In addition to tailgate style, bass function was an integral part of the identity of the early jazz trombonist, as was serving as the musical and personal foil to the trumpeter.
Jazz is the music that has most fully realized the solo potential of the trombone, and great jazz trombonists were indispensable to the Early Jazz era-none more so than Kid Ory. Along with Sydney Bechet, Jellyroll Morton and Buddy Bolden, the nomination of Kid Ory’s place to the Mount Rushmore of Early Jazz seems fitting. He inspired a young Louis Armstrong, and later recorded with him. Ory was an early innovator of the tailgate style and its perfector. He was an accomplished composer, including one of Jazz’s first standards, “Muskrat Ramble”, and was an accomplished bandleader. Who can doubt that a tinge of Ory’s growling glissando lived on in the raspy scat singing of the great Louis Armstrong and his many imitators?
Stereograms are unaccompanied solos for bass trombone which also work well for tenor trombone with ‘f’ attachment, euphonium, bassoon, cello and other bass clef instruments. Best described as “Bobby McFerrin meets the Bach Cello Suites”, they celebrate the ability to alternate between two or more compelling parts within a single melodic line. More than 30 of Brubeck’s original Stereograms, and 25 of his Stereogram arrangements have been published; they have enjoyed performances and been recorded throughout the world. Enjoy!
c. 2014 David William Brubeck All Rights Reserved davidbrubeck.com
This arrangement was originally published in the Journal of the International Trombone Association.