How come the saxes always get to play all the fun parts in big bands? Cool, beautiful and hip melody lines, accompanied by an occasional “bap” or “do-bauw” from the brass section. Ok, it is not the whole truth, but there are some fun sax parts that are (reasonably) playable on trombone as well. Do I need to say how good it will sound when played on trombone?

Thad Jones is known for his brilliant music for big band, and Groove Merchant is one of my favorites. Especially the sax chorus is amazing. Full-fat super-hip lines with intense voicings, this is Thad at his best! And even better, it is actually quite suited for trombone. Admitted, it is a bit technically challenging, but the range is spot on – when playing it an octave below the lead soprano. I wrote out the harmony as well, it´s a fun piece to solo on. Continue reading

    Trombone lesson: Mike Stern lick in all keys

    I stole this phrase from a Mike Stern recording a few years ago because I liked the sound of it. And bored on a rainy day, I decided to write it down in all keys and work on it on the trombone. It turned out to be a quite hard but rewarding technical trombone exercise. Try to play it as written, and you´ll get a good high range work out!

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      Trombone lesson: maj7 and maj7#5 patterns in jazz improvisation

      Are you a jazz improviser? Do you know all the maj7 (major seven) and maj7#5 (major seven sharp five) patterns in all keys by heart? If not, I strongly recommend that you get started! They are extremely useful in when you improvise since they set the mood of a chord very clearly, and most of them are quite well suited for trombone as well.

      The reason that I bring up the maj7 and the maj7#5 patterns at the same time, is because Continue reading

        Trombone lesson: Doodle Tonguing – Part 4


        In the previous articles in this series, I have talked about the fundamental of doodle tonguing, basic and advanced exercises. Doodle tongue is the perfect solution for all jazz trombone players who want to be able to play fast and precise legato lines.

        This time I want to share some patterns and exercises that I have found to be very useful. This is stuff that I use a lot when I play improvised jazz solos. Let´s get started! Continue reading

          Anders Larson Quintet feat. Gerard Presencer – Live recording

          I just wanted to share a few tracks from a live concert in Copenhagen in June 2010. It´s with my quintet, featuring the amazing trumpet player Gerard Presencer. He decided to move to Copenhagen in 2009 to play with the Danish Radio Big Band, thank you for that, Gerard! Check out his solo in Coltrane´s 26-2, it is absolutely unnecessarily good…

          The rest of the band consists of some of the best Danish jazz musicians, Henrik Gunde on piano, Thomas Fonnesbech on bass and Karsten Bagge on drums.

          [mp3player width=400 height=80 config=player-in-post.xml playlist=alq-feat-presencer-live.xml]
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            Trombone lesson: Tip Toe Trombone Solo

            If you are into big band music, you probably know Thad Jones. He is one of the all time greatest arrangers and composers in that genre if you ask me. His work includes great tunes as The Second Race, Groove Merchant, Backbone, Little Pumpkin, The Farewell, Fingers, Us and many others. Continue reading

              Trombone lesson: Pentatonic scales – how and why

              Do you know your minor pentatonic scales? And I mean really know them, up and down and inside out? I recommend that you spend some time with those five tones in all keys. It is a great way to build up your technical skills on the instrument and learn to find your way around the instrument.

              Pentatonic scale or blues scale? There´s a important difference. The blues scale is identical to the pentatonic scale, but it also consists of the b5 (or #11). So pentatonic scale has five notes and the blues scale has six. This post is about the pentatonic scale, and how to use it. I´ll get back to the blues scale later on.
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