Rodney Oakes
3 tenor, 1 bass trombone

Verona, NJ, United States
Publisher: Seesaw Music
Date of Publication: 2020


Primary Genre: Trombone Ensembles

Trombonist/composer/author/educator Rodney Oakes (b.1937) holds BA and MA degrees in music from San Diego State University, and the DMA from University of Southern California. He has taught electronic music and directed the PACE (Program for Accelerated College Education) at Los Angeles Harbor College where he currently is an Emeritus Professor and teaches humanities and music. As a composer, Oakes has worked in a wide range of mediums and composed chamber music, musicals, works for jazz ensemble as well as numerous works for trombone and electronics. As a trombonist, Oakes has pioneered the use of the trombone combined with electronic devices and has performed throughout the United States and Europe. His works are published by Seesaw and Kjos and a number have been recorded on the Cambria, Living Music, iii Records, Nine Winds and Innova labels. He has won numerous awards including a Rockefeller Grant; an NEA grant; a Fulbright Senior Lectureship to the Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland; and ASCAP Standard Awards since 1987.

The inspiration for this work are the lyrical canzoni from the 16th and 17th centuries. These were often instrumental arrangements of part songs (chansons), alternating between homophonic and polyphonic sections. The homophonic sections display the singing qualities of the trombone and each of the four parts gets a chance at the lyrical, legato melodic material. This is interspersed with sections in imitative counterpoint. Much of the harmonic basis is quartal and the melodic pitch choices are quite traditional. The bass trombone gets a good workout in the low register, while the other parts are easily handled by less experienced players. Paper, layout and printing are all first class.

Reviewer: Karl Hinterbichler
Review Published July 31, 2020