Gary Powell Nash
Progressive Jazz Suite: for bass trombone solo
unaccompanied bass trombone

Vancouver, BC, , Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2010


Gary Powell Nash’s Progressive Jazz Suite is a work composed in three movements for unaccompanied bass trombone. Each movement embodies a different jazz style. The first movement is composed in a fusion style and is combined with a simple rock feel. The second is a jazz ballad and the third a salsa dance. Each movement presents a specific set of challenges.

The first movement is marked “slow, but intense.” The driving sixteenth notes help the performer keep the music steady and moving forward. The greatest challenge in the first movement is playing the rhythms accurately. Careful subdivision is required because syncopated rhythms combined with the ability to count and feel two against three offer real challenges.

The second movement offers the performer the ability to show off their lyrical playing. While not as technically challenging as the first movement, there are tricky quadruplets and duplets marked in the 6/8 meter. Another interesting aspect of this movement is the switching between a two and three feel through the use of hemiola, eighth note groupings, and ties. The form of the second movement seems to follow that of a traditional ballade with an AABA’ form.

The third movement is the most difficult of the three. This salsa movement is filled with the frequent use of offbeats, tied triplets to eighth notes, extremely varied articulation, and a constant brisk tempo. Range spans to almost three octaves and is filled with large intervallic leaps that could lead to an unwanted tone if practiced improperly. The overall work ranges from FF in the second movement to a-flat1 in the outer movements. I think this work is intended for the advanced college student who possesses an understanding of both classical and jazz performance practices.


Reviewer: Matthew Visconti
Review Published January 31, 2019