After recently purchasing my new photographic drone, I created a musical background texture for what would become my first musical video shoot with this wonderful machine.

My good friend and sax man Bill Lieske let me record his playing over this background and then followed me up a nearby mountain where I flew the aircraft buzzing around him as he played.

Wanting to make the most from this seed of a musical idea and over an hour’s recording of Bill’s wonderful playing, I crafted this tune.

Why call it Labor of Love? Because I wanted the focus of the tune to be my improvising over the sound texture, but do so in a fresh way, not falling back on rote licks and comfortable patterns.

Doing so in six flats on the alto trombone proved challenging and required more hours of practice and failed attempts than I had originally imagined. In the end, the wood-shedding and the equally difficult technological challenges I introduced to the piece proved worthwhile in this labor of musical love.

Preview / Buy Book

I really like this interesting and well-disposed book. So many good thoughts, facts and tips on alto trombone. Good guidance for the searching alto souls out there. A must-have for the shelves.

– Håkan Björkman, Principal Trombone at Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

I highly recommend Alto Trombone Savvy for players around the world wanting advice on handling the alto trombone at the highest level. Classical and jazz players both share the same challenges, and it’s great to have this book in either bass or alto clef to help answer some of those challenges.

– Carsten Svanberg, International Trombone Soloist and Professor of Trombone at the University of Music and Arts Graz

For anyone interested in learning to play the alto trombone, whether for classical or jazz, this book is a must. Clearly written, with excellent exercises and links to audio examples, Michael Lake has provided the trombone world with a wonderful new resource.

– Ralph Sauer, Former Principal Trombone, Los Angeles Philharmonic

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