Archie Foster gave an impressive lunchtime recital on the trombone on Wednesday 15 June. His recital featured works by Cliff, Mancini, and Mitcham, which are all clear favourites of Archie’s. To open the concert, Archie performed Four Sketches by Tony Cliff. These modern, jazz-influenced works allowed Archie to show off his jazz skills. In the first movement, Archie managed to capture the essence of this smooth, cool Blues, finessed with the added vibrato on the final note. The second movement, Shades, featured rhythmic complexities and reflected Archie’s technical playing skills. This piece involved a lot of high notes, highlighting Archie’s stamina. It felt as if he was commenting on different shades of emotion whilst playing this movement. Pastels featured long, flowing melodies, in which Archie brought out the colours of the work. This lyrical piece also featured jazz harmony, and the added trombone slides transported his audience to a jazz club! The final work in this set, Impressions, highlighted the trombone’s range of styles and colour. This piece featured a very catchy melody and was a great finale to the Four Sketches.
Moon River was released in 1961 by Henry Mancini, and was made famous in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This must be one of the most well-known melodies in jazz and pop culture, and Archie played this work knowing its value. His delicate handling of the melody allowed the trombone to sing and connect with the breath. This was a lovely rendition of this well-known song, and it was clear from the reception that the audience enjoyed this piece! To end the concert, Archie performed the comedically named Trombamatic. This piece looked so fun to perform and Archie allowed the fun of this piece to flow from his playing. Its fast pace showed off the trombone’s capabilities with slides, semiquaver passages and its wide range. I particularly enjoyed Ms. Bolt’s tapping on the piano, which added a percussive spark to the piece. Thank you, Archie, for a wonderful performance, and we look forward to hearing you again soon at Oakham School’s Big Band Concert!