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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Joe Alessi: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

I'm not sure what else I can really say about Joe Alessi.  His artistry and command over the trombone are famous.  His ability to play solos like this one just as convincingly as playing the lead trombone in the New York Philharmonic is also noteworthy.  He is a true virtuoso. This is a live clip of Joe playing "Three Scenes for American Trombone" by Eric Richards.  This is a perfect piece to show off his abilities as both a technician and musician.

A few things that pop out at me in this clip:

- I love how unapologetic his slide technique is.  His right hand never goes fishing for the right location, no matter how fast the passage.  He tells it where it is going which is something I try to emulate with my valves.

- I really like his use of vibrato in this solo.  He only uses it in certain instances which really gives it an effectiveness.

- His combination of seeming to be so calm while also going for it with no hesitation is truly great.

I listen to Joe's playing all the time and still need to listen him more.  I learn something every time I do.