Lassus Trombones

Featuring the trombone sections of Black Dyke, Grimethorpe, ISB and Associates

Sleeve Notes

Following the success of their first album, ‘Cross Flourishes’ the trombone sections of Black Dyke Band and the International Staff Band (ISB) are pleased to present this follow up album.

Finding dates in the diaries of both sections was not easy and became an even bigger challenge when the decision to double the number of trombones for this recording was made.

Eventually, dates were confirmed and the trombone section of Grimethorpe Colliery Band along with invited guests joined with the Black Dyke and ISB trombones in the recording studio. In all, 23 trombone players were involved in the recording.

The recording, which took place over two weekends meant some could not make every session. Whether, performing on one track or all tracks, everyone was part of a very unique team.

Our guest conductor was Rob Wiffin, who has built a reputation conducting orchestras, wind ensembles and many of the country’s finest brass bands. Rob has worked on a large number of commercial recordings, television and radio broadcasts and has premiered many new works and he is a trombone player himself.

 

Track Listing

Lassus Trombone

The title track starts the album and what a start. Trombone players will be aware of the iconic recording of Lassus Trombone by Tutti’s Trombones, recorded in 1970. Composed by Henry Fillmore, the father of the trombone ‘smear’ in 1915, this arrangement by Tutti Camarata has become the iconic version that all trombone players would love to play. Enjoy the jazz solo featuring Duncan Winfield.

Mid All the Traffic

A quiet and reflective mood we turn to Mid All the Traffic an arrangement of the tune Shenandoah by Len Ballantine. Salvationists sing John Oxenham’s words to this tune.
 
‘Mid all the traffic of the ways,
Turmoils without, within,
Make in my heart a quiet place,
And come and dwell within’.

Trombone No.5

Commissioned to write a piece for the RAF Massed Bands Tour in 2010, Rob Wiffin was given carte blanche to make it as difficult as he liked. He chose to arrange Mambo No. 5 composed by the Cuban composer Pérez Prado in 1949 and called it Trombone No. 5. Listen out for the jazz breaks from Brett Baker and Dan Eddison and feel the energy from the group as they noticeably enjoy this number.

A Mighty Fortress

The well-known Martin Luther hymn ‘Ein feste Burg’ is arranged by the Canadian composer Elizabeth Raum. A Mighty Fortress has been used by numerous composers including Bach, Mendelssohn, Vaughan Williams and Steadman-Allan (Holy War).

Star Lake

A march so well known in and outside of Salvation Army circles is Eric Ball’s march Star Lake. Composed and first performed at the Star Lake Music Camp, Bloomingdale, New Jersey in 1937, it works well for trombones.

Blueberry Hill

Another Tutti Camarata number Blueberry Hill to hear the silky tone of the trombones. Brett and Dan are again the featured soloists in this number with a little play and respond conversation between each other.

Ave Verum Corpus

Turning to the classics we feature Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus arranged by another trombone player and the conductor of our first album, Steve Bulla. This soothing arrangement allows Dan Eddison to shine, this time taking the lead alto trombone part.

To a Festive Occasion

 

The major work on the album is To a Festive Occasion written by Leslie Condon. Receiving its premiere performance in June 1971, at the Songster Leaders’ Councils Festival at the Royal Albert Hall. The list of players at the premiere performance in 1971 were: Maisie Wiggins, Michael Savage, Anthony Leggett, Pauline Annetts, Eric Stannard, Brian Cooper, Dudley Bright and John Allum.

Since then, the piece has been rarely heard and for years the music was feared lost. Then two years ago, a very worn, old facsimile copy surfaced. Written in Condon’s hand, some of the bars were so faded they were difficult to read and looking at notes on two of the individual trombone parts, some changes to the score were made for its first performance. However, in time the score was carefully recreated onto Sibelius software and we were pleased to record this major work once thought lost.

To a Festive Occasion bristles with activity, delicate reflectiveness and an uplifting smile using the nobility of the tune ‘St Francis’ it rings out a chorus of ‘Alleluias’.

 

Can You Dig It

During a break in the recording sessions another set of trombone players joined us in the studio, the Black Dyke Youth Quartet. Four very accomplished youngsters enjoyed recording the next number Can you Dig It from Iron Man 3. All four players have played in the Yorkshire Youth Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. We were delighted to hear young people enjoying the art of trombone playing as much as we do.

Music for the Royal Fireworks

Handel’s Hornpipe from the Water Music was featured on the first album, so it seemed fitting to include another Handel piece on this album. This excerpt from the Music for the Royal Fireworks was written in 1749 and arranged for this album by Ian Jones.

Shining Sword

Rob Wiffin composed Shining Sword in tribute to the heroism of the men of the wartime RAD Bomber Command on their 60th Anniversary Commemorations. Shining Sword refers to the Lancaster Bomber.

Heaven Came Down

Eiliv Herikstad wrote Heaven Came Down in the 1970s and it soon became a favourite of Salvation Army bands. With rhythms not usually expected in a march setting and ‘gentle’ glissandos for the trombones in the final section, this march became a hit with bands and audiences alike.


Nessun Dorma

Another visit to the classics featuring Chris Binns in the well-known aria from Puccini’s opera Turandot Nessun Dorma


Jerusalem

‘And did those feet in ancient time’ is the first line of the well-known poem by William Blake set to music by Sir Hubert Parry. Best known as the hymn Jerusalem, it is often sung in school assemblies and remains a popular English anthem.

The Girl from Ipanema

Our third track from Tutti Camarata is from the Brazilian composer Antonio Jobin, The Girl from Ipanema. This cool Bosa Nova allows the trombones to display a sensitive smooth style and features Paul Woodward as the soloist.

Washington Post

Next to ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’, The Washington Post has been Sousa’s most widely known march. Written in 1889 we would like to believe that if Sousa was still around he would approve this version arranged for trombones.

Pseudo-Blues

The name William Himes is well known in brass band circles. His composition Pseudo-Blues for trombone ensemble was written when he was a University student and he dedicated this piece to Glenn P. Smith, University of Michigan.

I Know Thou Art Mine

Our first album was mastered by the well known recording engineer, Richard Scott. With his vast experience of recording everything from small groups to full symphony orchestras he was a delight to work with. Due to ill health he was unable to attend the recording dates for this album but he kept a keen interest on the project and his team reported back to him while in hospital on our progress. Sadly, shortly after we finished the final recording session, Richard passed away. In memory of Richard, the trombones would like to dedicate this next track I Know Thou Art Mine to his memory. Len Ballantine’s band arrangement is a favourite of many Salvation Army bands and the words ‘My Jesus I love thee, I know thou art mine’ is a truth we know Richard professed.

Three Kings Swing

We close our album with another William Himes number, the well-known Farandole from Bizet’s L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2 and entitled Three Kings Swing. Written for brass band this arrangement for trombones and featuring Dan Eddison in the jazz solo brings our album to a close.

Bonus Material

The major work on the album is 'To a Festive Occasion' written by Leslie Condon. It received its premiere performance in June 1971, at the Songster Leaders’ Councils Festival at the Royal Albert Hall.

The front page of the programme lists the players for its premiere performance as: Maisie Wiggins, Michael Savage, Anthony Leggett, Pauline Annetts, Eric Stannard, Brian Cooper, Dudley Bright and John Allum.

Since then, the piece has been rarely heard and for years the music was feared lost. Then two years ago, a very worn, old facsimile copy surfaced. Written in Condon’s hand, some of the bars were so faded they were difficult to read and looking at notes on two of the individual trombone parts, some changes to the score were made for its first performance. The first page of the score clearly lists the names of the players for each part.

 


 
 

Artists involved in the production

Profile - Rob Wiffin

Rob Wiffin

Rob began his musical career in the Salvation Army, learning to play cornet and then trombone at Southall Citadel in London.

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Profile - The Black Dyke Trombone Quartet

The Black Dyke Trombone Quartet

The Black Dyke trombone quartet was set up in 2004. Since then this quartet has performed at over forty events for the British Trombone Society and...

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Profile - The ISB Trombone Quartet

The ISB Trombone Quartet

The trombone section of the International Staff Band have been featured on band programmes playing numbers such as 'Wonders Begin' and 'Trombone Ve...

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Profile - Grimethorpe Trombones

Grimethorpe Trombones

Grimethorpe Band has become world famous not only through the many titles they've won but their diverse performances outside of the brass band world.

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Profile - Trombone Associates

Trombone Associates

To make up the group to 16 players a number of friends were invited to join us in the studio.

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Profile - Black Dyke Youth Quartet

Black Dyke Youth Quartet

There have been many versions of junior and Youth Quartets over the years and the latest group of talented players was formed in 2017.

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Lassus Trombones - Album Cover

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