Armand Russell
Somber and Jovial:
Tenor trombone and piano

Vancoiuver, BC, , Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2014

Score and solo part. Range c-g1. Grade 2-3.


This is a fun piece for young a trombonist. The first movement, Somber Prelude, features undulating, syncopated rhythms within a fairly narrow range in the upper middle register working a small melodic cell. The accompaniment is simple and chordal. The movement demands excellent command of rhythm, sense of pulse, and musical phrasing. The second movement, Jovial Rondo, has a recurring opening section that is organized around a basic syncopated rhythm. These are juxtaposed with a lyrical section in 3/4 meter, a section that opens with call and response between the trombone and piano and quickly moves to scale passages in cross rhythms. This movement requires rehearsal to coordinate trombone and piano rhythms. The piece ends with a coda, which briefly brings back material from the first movement and then ends in rhythmic flourish. Somber and Jovial is an interesting new piece, excellent for junior high or early high school level trombonists. Its limited range makes it accessible; its challenging rhythmic content makes it fun and can help young players develop that sense of pulse and subdivision necessary for rhythmic confidence.

Reviewer: Timothy Howe
Review Published January 31, 2019