The Catalog of recorded music from Gerry Pagano
Hear some samples of Gerry’s performances and recordings…
Check out Gerry’s CDs
This effort is by far the most unique to date, and continues the concept of the previous recording, Solitude.
I’ve become interested in presenting a unified style throughout a recording or performance (see retirement concert), focusing on creating an ambiance over the course of listening. It finds its expression in pieces that weren’t intended for trombone, but I think translate well to my instrument.
Most of the arrangements are mine, and along the way, I was joined by my new musical friend and accomplice, Jack Clift. His guitar added a sound and direction to a couple of the works that otherwise would not have existed. I suggest with this music, you sit back, turn down the lights, maybe light a candle, sit on your Zafu, and relax. Nothing here is meant to impress, just express a calmness and serenity that you may find a respite in your daily life, a departure from what you’ve heard before coming from my trombone. Did I just say Departure? Isn’t that a coincidence?
Sometimes a title is little more than something to grab attention, or otherwise stand out from what has become an increasingly crowded field of trombone recordings. In this case, the choice reflects the slow, meditative nature of much of these compositions. It also reflects a variety of tunes and composers that one could easily say is eclectic. Any recording with Bach and Coltrane, well chances are it’s a bit different. There are also a few second movements from a few solo Bass Trombone works, also by design.
Many times the 2nd movement is the Adagio, or slows down from the opening movement. Such is the case with these compositions. Again, I’d hoped to set a laid back, softer, slower mood that would continue throughout the entire recording, one song to the next. Imagine low lights, perhaps a candle lit, a glass of your favorite after dinner drink, closing your eyes, and relaxing, as the music goes from one soft pastel to another.
This is not about higher louder faster, but instead, a peaceful, calm approach to the possibilities of this side of the instrument. Did I succeed? You be the judge.
New music for bass trombone, including Woodwind Quintet, Percussion, brass ensemble, piano, and all members of the St Louis Symphony.
This project involves a new commission for bass trombone and percussion, and features compositions with woodwind quintet, brass ensemble, and an unaccompanied contra bass trombone solo! I’ve taken advantage of some of the finest musicians anywhere, including many of my colleagues from the St. Louis Symphony. All of the music is new or previously unreleased, and promises to be different than the typical piano and soloist recording. Composers include Martin Kennedy, Hidas Frigyes, Jeffrey Miller, Frank Gulino, Douglas Reader, Rob Deemer, Benjamin Torres.
Connections latest cd from Gerry Pagano featuring the St. Louis Low Brass Collective, The Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony, pianist Peter Henderson, and never before recorded music for trombone quartet, brass quintet, low brass ensemble, and the 2010 bass trombone solo written for Gerry Pagano, Sonata Rhapsody “the Arch”! Connections was named as one of the top 11 CDs of 2011 by Sarah Bryan Miller The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Classical Music Critic!
Here’s what St. Louis Post-Dispatch Music Critic Sarah Bryan Miller had to say about Gerry’s CD:
“Gerry Pagano has played bass trombone in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra since 1995; he’s an integral part of the orchestra’s brass sound. In “Departure,” he steps out with some transcriptions . mostly music originally composed for voice or cello . that surprise and delight with beautiful singing tone.
Highlights include four of Mahler’s “Songs of a Wayfarer” (here confusingly called “Songs of a Journeyman”) and the Vaughan Williams Concerto for Bass Tuba. He has a little help from his friends in the trombone section, and sterling accompaniment from pianist Peter Henderson. This set of departures is well worth hearing.”
Another intention of mine was to both introduce new composers and works to other trombonists, and hopefully fight the going trend for extremely difficult works, that often limit their performance by being beyond the scope of many. While holding their own challenges, I consider these to be within the realm of a Masters, or even talented Undergraduate student. I also find them pleasant to listen to, an aspect that is sadly often lost in the race to impress with sheer technique. I hope you find I’ve accomplished this with these offerings, and that you’ll enjoy this compilation of new works, most recorded here for the very first time.
Born from an initial meeting many years ago at Tanglewood between Doug Yeo and Gerry Pagano, this CD is the result of two bass trombonists who through the years have also become good friends. The CD after all, is titled Fratres, which is latin for Brothers.
Gerry and Michael Lake also go back several years from their time together at Arizona State University. They recorded Roads Less Traveled together and had great fun in the process. This CD represents a wide variety of music that spans nearly 600 years. Bartok, Bach, Tommy Pederson, Bill Reichenbach, me and more are represented on this unique expression of two good friends playing some bass trombone duets along with some help from Michael Lake on alto trombone.
Roads Less Traveled
Showing the jazz side of Gerry Pagano, Roads Less Traveled is a duo recording between Gerry and alto trombonist, Michael Lake.
If you think all trombones sound the same, this very creative selection of jazz and latin will change your mind. Combining alto and bass trombones with synthesis and percussion, these creative arrangements break new ground in trombone recording.
Fleur De Lis
St. Louis has a rich French heritage, evidenced in our street names such as Laclede, Des Peres, Chouteau and Lafayette. The fleur de lis, historically associated with the French monarchy, remains an enduring symbol of France and its conquests, and has a special significance for the city of St. Louis. It can be seen throughout the city in architecture, flags and business logos. In this album there is a connection to this heritage through music by French composers Dukas and Charpentier, and the New Orleans-inspired New Life Suite, another city associated with the fleur de lis.
With the exception of the Charpentier, all of the pieces on this CD were either written for or arranged by The Trombones of The St. Louis Symphony. One of our goals has been to promote new music, so we are happy to present two premieres. Collaborating with these composers has been a tremendous experience. The other works on this album consist of popular works for orchestra or piano that we arranged ourselves for trombone quartet, exercising our creativity. Each piece has significance for us as a group and as individuals, in much the same way as we approach our concept of sound – with room for each voice and its special nature, and yet a dedication to the whole. We wish you well as you travel up the Mississippi and land at our door. Bon Voyage!
The Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony
4.1, the CD by The Trombones of The St. Louis Symphony was recorded in September 2008, and released in March 2010, includes my former colleague, Steve Lange, now of the Boston Symphony. This was our first full recording as a trombone quartet. We included music from the standard trombone repertoire that we felt we had something to say about. Also, original in the trombone quartet literature, is Conrad Henning’s beautiful transcription of Francis Poulenc’s Four Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi.