I know… it’s been a while since I promised a review of Christan Lindberg’s “Chick’ a’ Bone Checkout” for alto, tenor & bass trombone as premiered by Charlie Vernon of the Chicago Symphony. The dust has settled, but I’m still impressed with the freshness and vitality of the composition.
Written as a collaboration between Lindberg and Vernon, “Chick” is a piece that could only have been played by Charlie. It’s a long overdue addition to the trombone repertoire and is so much more than a novelty. Accessible tunes, soaring melodies combined with neat, rhythmic interludes and an excellent orchestration make this an enduring work. Although the standard of playing continues to push the envelope of range and technique, this piece will always be Charlie’s due to the fact that he is one of only a handful of players that offers such a transparent glimpse into his soul.
From the opening double-tongue passage on alto (bass trombonist, CSO, remember!!), to tenor playing that evokes memories of the most expressive players, to his bass playing (still the standard in my book), he does it all! I can only imagine what it would have been like if Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, et al, had ever heard him play. We can dream. Kudos to “C” and “C”!