A verbal picture of Band of Bones

New York Debut Concert at Christ & St. Stephens's Church September 25, 2011

I went to David Chamberlain's concert last night.  What a treat it was.  Some of their arrangements could not be topped by anyone. 8 trombones and 3 rhythm, what a sound!

You know the trombone is one of our oldest instruments and is still in the same shape as it was in the 1500 hundreds,  Amazing if you think about it.  Every other instrument is different including the piano. Yamaha took seven years to make the first electric piano now this is all we hear.  David had a Yamaha piano, 6 foot, at the church and it looked brand new too.   His program was very interesting because he covered so many bases, but made them flow in and out of one another.  He did not stay into one era or theme but made them compliment each other.  They all played so great in the terms of all the great trombone players of the past. He seemed to mention JJ Johnson a lot, but others were there too..

He had many different arrangers on the program, blasts from the past, Lynn Welshman,Todd Anderson, Wayne Andre all past friends of mine.  I would have wanted the first number, could of been longer to warm up the band and let them all solo to get the cob webs out of their horns. It was called Band of Bones Blues composed by David. Stan Kenton started out with a ballad. Or maybe New Orleans Stomp!  Ha Ha.  Anyway he had a lovely singer there too: Antoinette Montague, She was lovely and she was from NJ.  But she sang as well as anybody and that is what I use to do is back up singers on their stage shows.  In fact so much I got sick of it.  I am crazy yes. I must know something about it.

Anyway, it reminded me too of my days with my 10 piece rehearsal band with three saxes and three brass playing my arrangements of my tunes. David said, " there are no saxophones here or trumpets here, just trombones.” I understand him.  Saxophone players can get a bit too much with their long solos, the trumpets with their high notes.  Ya, David keep it up. Being a woodwind player I really know what he is speaking about.

We must praise Dave for giving the trombones their rightful place in music and remembering the great players from the past that help create this sound. It is a part of music history which is so rich in music from former times.

Recently I rediscovered Dixieland music and have been studying it and learning about the richness and humor of this great American music that has been set aside for more popular forms of music. It is just as true a music as Beethoven and Mozart.

He entitled the program Band of Bones NYC Full-length concert debut.  He was so gracious in giving attention to all the players and recognizing  their talents. Which of course they so richly deserved, I wanted to call them all the 'real angles' of our world.  Of course the concert wasn't perfect, but some of the numbers were just outstanding like: The Continental, Getting Sentimental Over You, Stardust, Is You is or is You Ain't My Baby? and A Night in Tunisia all classic tunes. I must say the orchestration by Wayne Andre was outstanding and for me the highlight of the evening. Todd Anderson's piece was a modern harmonic contribution to these traditional tunes. Again, Dave covering a lot of musical eras with his group.

If you have a chance to hear the band go to their concert. It will be a special treat. http://www.bandofbones.com All concert information on their web site.

The performers were, Bruce Eldem Charley Gordon, Nate Mayland, Mark Patterson, Chris Rinaman, and Bob Suttmann tenor trombones, Bass trombones, Max Seigel and Dale Turk, Piano Kenny Ascher, Bass Dick Sarpola and Drums Mike Campenni.

Let us wish them the best success in the future. These are my thoughts.

Yours, Greg Henry Waters :-)


In a presentation like this one should not speak of other things. But this group is not only about the Band of Bones, but it is about music history, harmony, orchestration, jazz solos, styles of music and social issues that effect our lives.