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Pocket Change

By Jim Self

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Bass trombone, tuba and trombone choir
Composed by Jim Self. Chamber music, 20th century. Published by Potenza Music (P2.90003).

Item Number: P2.90003

Pocket Change is a lively feature piece for Solo Bass Trombone and Solo Contra-Bass Tuba accompanied by 8 Trombone and Drums. (Solo Bass Tuba can be substituted for the Solo Bass Trombone). The title refers to the jazz player's term "in the pocket". It was commissioned by Portuguese Tuba virtuoso Sergio Carolino and was premiered by him with his Porto Symphony colleague Bass Trombonist, Nuno Martens and the Wild Bones Gang --August 26, 2014 at GRAVISSIMO!, the Alcobaca International Low Brass Academy & Festival in Portugal. The concert was recorded live and is available on CD. Much of the piece is in 3/4 meter but the general feel is 6/4. This gives a lot of freedom to have mixed meter and hemiola rhythms throughout. An energetic opening in the trombones is followed by a statement by the soloists. The drums set up the first "groove" with a "chattering", pointillistic trombone accompaniment. A 4/4 interlude leads to slow accelerating duet in the solo instruments setting up the 2nd "groove", a syncopated pattern with anticipations that make every 3rd and 4th bar feel like odd meters. More background chatter follows under a quasi-Latin groove while the soloists trade figures. The slow middle section has the impression of free time with the solo bass trombone and solo tuba playing a challenging duet. The next part has bongos accompany each of the soloists with the other soloist providing the underlying groove. The final section is a high-energy double-time feel in the drums with everyone coming to final low pedal Bb. There is an optional slow, "bluesy"" coda where the soloists play brief improvised solos. Pocket Change is for advanced players and will need a conductor. (8 Min.).

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