If the word "trombone" makes you think only of old music and marching bands, this diverse collection of beautiful music will give you a refreshingly new perspective.
These 13 songs are the result of more than a year's work highlighting Michael Lake's unique approach to the trombone. And this particular trombone is an alto. Since college Michael has exclusively played the alto trombone - an instrument once played to lead the trombone section in select symphonic works of Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn and others. Now, it is relegated to orchestral playing only when emulating that classic sectional sound, certainly never seriously used for jazz or popular music. The multiple trombones you will hear playing together was created by Michael recording the alto trombone one at a time and then stacking the tracks in order to create a rich ensemble feel.
This collaboration between two masters of their instruments was a long time in the making. Having been roommates at Arizona State University, Michael Lake and Gerry Pagano left Arizona to go their separate ways. Gerry went to Julliard and then to become the bass trombonist in the St Louis Symphony. Michael traveled east to record and perform jazz and latin music with a wide variety of world-class artists, eventually being nominated for a best Latin Album Grammy.
One day after discovering Michael's music online, Gerry reached out to Michael with a proposal. Michael remembers, "Gerry wrote that this music was great but that I really needed a real bass trombone. I had been using synthesizers and samplers to create a bass trombone sound, but it wasn't anything like the real thing." It didn't take much convincing, so Michael spent the next 6 months rewriting some existing music and arranging much more for their upcoming project.
Once the music was ready and Gerry had rehearsed the parts, he flew out to Michael's recording studio to lay down his bass trombone tracks to these 13 tunes. Gerry thoroughly enjoyed the experience of recording this music which was so different from the classical work of his own albums and symphonic playing with which he makes his living.
Roads Less Traveled reflects paths few people choose. It could be the lifelong embrace of an uncommon trombone, unique treatments to well-known songs, or the reuniting of two old friends across two decades and two thousand miles.