I’ve been playing the trombone since I was a young boy, and the bass trombone in particular since I was 18 years old. I’ve been fortunate to have made several solo recordings that are now in the hands of thousands of people around the world – you can see a list of my recordings by clicking here. Many other fine bass trombonists have also made superb solo recordings of diverse repertoire and recently, my good friend Gerry Pagano, bass trombonist of the Saint Louis Symphony, has released a new recording.
I met Gerry in 1987, early in my tenure as a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center that summer and we spent a lot of time together playing and talking. A few months after the Tanglewood season ended, Gerry won the St. Louis Symphony position. Gerry is not only an excellent player but a great person – vivacious, creative, positive. I count it a real privilege to call him my friend.
Gerry’s new recording features works for bass trombone that are accessible to talented players. It doesn’t include works that are only playable by just a handful of super professionals. As always, Gerry’s new album, Horizon, features his beautiful sound and impressive technique. Most of all, his musical artistry comes through.
I’m particularly pleased that Gerry has recorded, along with tenor trombonist Bradley Palmer, my arrangement of Eric Ewazen’s Pastorale, which I made with Eric’s permission for inclusion on my own CD, Two of a Mind, with tenor trombonist Nick Hudson. Gerry and Brad’s performance is quite beautiful and I’m very grateful for the inclusion of this lovely piece on the album.
You can obtain Gerry’s album for free. Yes. For free. Here is the link to download the tracks:
Of course this album wasn’t free on Gerry’s end. He had to record and produce it, and has to pay royalties to composers. So if you download the album and feel like it’s worthwhile, please take the opportunity to click the link at the bottom of the download page and send a few dollars Gerry’s way to help defray his expenses. He made this album of music that he loves and his playing is truly inspirational.
In 2014, I asked Gerry to come to Arizona State University to give a master class. The class was terrific; he is such a natural communicator and his time was extremely helpful to my students. After the class, we sat down in my office and made a video of our playing Tommy Pederson’s great duet for two bass trombones, The Crimson Collop. I posted our recording – done in one take – on YouTube and much to my surprise, it’s had over 15,000 views. Seriously? Well, we’re just happy that people have enjoyed it. Perhaps you’ll enjoy it too. Watch the video below to see two friends having a nice time together making music, celebrating the bass trombone. Enjoy.