Why am I posting about a trombone CD, you ask? Well, this is a very special trombone CD, for a number of reasons. First of all, this is the first solo release by my very dear friend and trombone virtuoso, Neal Bennett, which focusses on new (and to a large extent, Canadian) works for trombone. But it wasn’t enough for Neal to make a plain old trombone CD; four of the seven works presented here are scored for anywhere between eight and ten trombones. And Neal, being the overachiever that he is, recorded all the bloody parts. All in all, it was a gargantuan amount of work for Neal and the end result is fabulous: recorded here are four works for trombone ensemble by Canadian composers Scott Good, Roydon Tse, Jocelyn Morlock, and Farshid Samandari (whose work for eight trombones and bass drum, Ziggurat, inspired the name of the album). Stealthily slid in between these tracks are solo trombone pieces by Morlock, Rob McKenzie, and Swedish composer Folke Rabe. Finally, Ziggurat marks the second time I’ve sat in the producer’s chair for someone else’s CD recording (the first being for pianist Rachel Iwaasa‘s Western Canadian Music Award nominated album, Cosmophony). Being a producer for a multi-track classical album can be an anxiety-inducing task, but Neal and I were surrounded by tremendous help through all stages: Brian Nesselroad adding some percussive magic on Morlock’s Sequoia and Samandari’s Ziggurat; recording and editing by Ryan Noakes and Brian Garbet; Don Harder on mastering; graphic design by Simon Butler; and beautiful artwork by Vancouver painter Kevin Snyder.
Ziggurat is released on the Redshift Record label (and is, in fact, the thirteenth release for the label!) and will be available soon through the Canadian Music Centre and iTunes.
Check out the excerpt from Ziggurat below: Morlock’s Sequoia for eight trombones and percussion — it gives you an idea of the incredibly beautiful music on this album and the cuh-razy amount of work Neal put in to this whole project!