Release Date: January 8, 2016
Catalog #: NV6019
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Chamber
Concertos
Orchestra
Piano
Trombone

Rojak Rocks

Jack Gale composer
Steven Christopher Sacco composer
Brian Lynn composer
Walter Ross composer
Alan Raph composer

John D. Rojak bass trombone

For decades, John Rojak has been a staple in American brass music, performing with a number of chamber ensembles and orchestras such as American Brass Quintet, Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony; in Broadway shows including Les Misérables and The Producers; in big bands of Mel Lewis, Bob Mintzer, and Gerry Mulligan; and contributing to the pedagogy of the bass trombone as a faculty member of several institutions, including The Juilliard School, The Hartt School, and Aspen Music Festival and School. Needless to say he has taken the bass trombone and its repertoire to new heights in the classical, contemporary, jazz, and commercial genres.

Rojak presents his debut release on Navona Records, ROJAK ROCKS, a culmination of his experiences until now in the contemporary music scene, both in New York and around the world. Each of the works on this album have a history for Rojak, a time and place that marks a transcending moment in his prolific career. Whether coming to him from a close colleague or through an unexpected opportunity, the works on this collection have contributed to the development of Rojak’s extensive and varying career as a brass player.

Not only do these pieces illustrate significant moments in Rojak’s career and in the development of new works for bass trombone, some of them incorporate elements of genres in which he worked, including jazz and commercial music. Steven Christopher Sacco’s Sonata for Bass Trombone and Piano was written for Rojak after Sacco was commissioned to write a work for American Brass Quintet, and features elements of syncopation and jazz harmonic structures. Rojak and Jack Gale, composer of Three Pieces for Bass Trombone and Jazz Rhythm Section, worked together in Broadway productions, delivering a piece with a rhythm section spearheaded by pianist Russ Kassoff.

Rojak recorded New York composer and bass trombonist Alan Raph’s Rock at Hunter Canyon in Moab UT, 150 feet above the canyon floor in order to capture the natural echo of the landscape. Rojak discovered Brian Lynn’s Ba-dee-doo-dup while giving a master class in Tokyo. He performed and recorded composer Walter Ross’ Concerto No. 2 for Trombone and Orchestra with the New York Chamber Symphony, under the hand of Gerard Schwarz, an experience which Rojak says was “one of those moments in a musician’s life that makes a career feel complete.” Rojak’s career is far from complete yet this album exemplifies his influence in the world of classical, commercial, and jazz music and in the expansion of the bass trombone repertory as well as a group of composers and musicians who inspired him and contributed to his eminent craft.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 3 Pieces for Bass Trombone & Jazz Rhythm Section: I. Jack Gale John D. Rojak, bass trombone; Russ Kassoff, piano; Joe Bongiorno, bass; Ray Marchica, drums 2:48
02 3 Pieces for Bass Trombone & Jazz Rhythm Section: II. Jack Gale John D. Rojak, bass trombone; Russ Kassoff, piano; Joe Bongiorno, bass; Ray Marchica, drums 3:38
03 3 Pieces for Bass Trombone & Jazz Rhythm Section: III. Jack Gale John D. Rojak, bass trombone; Russ Kassoff, piano; Joe Bongiorno, bass; Ray Marchica, drums 2:26
04 Sonata for Bass Trombone & Piano: I. Romance Steven Christopher Sacco John D. Rojak, bass trombone; Antoinette Perry, piano 5:46
05 Sonata for Bass Trombone & Piano: II. Adagio Steven Christopher Sacco John D. Rojak, bass trombone; Antoinette Perry, piano 4:28
06 Sonata for Bass Trombone & Piano: III. Scherzo Steven Christopher Sacco John D. Rojak, bass trombone; Antoinette Perry, piano 5:06
07 Ba-dee-doo-dup: I. Ba-dee-doo-dup Brian Lynn John D. Rojak, bass trombone; James Miller, Andy Malloy - tenor trombone 1:28
08 Ba-dee-doo-dup: II. Respite Brian Lynn John D. Rojak, bass trombone; James Miller, Andy Malloy - tenor trombone 2:34
09 Ba-dee-doo-dup: III. Waltz Brian Lynn John D. Rojak, bass trombone; James Miller, Andy Malloy - tenor trombone 1:09
10 Ba-dee-doo-dup: IV. Smooch Brian Lynn John D. Rojak, bass trombone; James Miller, Andy Malloy - tenor trombone 3:15
11 Ba-dee-doo-dup: V. March Brian Lynn John D. Rojak, bass trombone; James Miller, Andy Malloy - tenor trombone 2:09
12 Concerto No. 2 for Trombone & Orchestra: I. Poco adagio - Allegro energico Walter Ross John D. Rojak, bass trombone; New York Chamber Symphony | Gerard Schwarz, conductor 9:25
13 Concerto No. 2 for Trombone & Orchestra: II. Allegro animato Walter Ross John D. Rojak, bass trombone; New York Chamber Symphony | Gerard Schwarz, conductor 7:27
14 Concerto No. 2 for Trombone & Orchestra: III. Adagio - Allegro vivo Walter Ross John D. Rojak, bass trombone; New York Chamber Symphony | Gerard Schwarz, conductor 7:22
15 Rock Alan Raph John D. Rojak, bass trombone 2:44

Tracks 1-3 recorded April 11, 2011 at Dolan Recording Studio, NYU in New York City NY
Session Engineer Paul Geluso

Tracks 4-6 recorded August 15, 2007 at Harris Hall in Aspen CO
Session Engineer Riccardo Schultz and the students of Audio Institute of the Aspen Music Festival

Tracks 7-11 recorded February 20, 2008 at Daniel Recital Hall, California State University, in Long Beach CA
Session Engineer, Producer Sonny Ausman
Tonmeister Kait Mahony
Special thanks Rob Frear, Director of Brass Studies

Tracks 12-14 recorded March 14, 2000 at Master Sound in Astoria NY
Session Producer Elliott McKinley

Track 15 recorded August 24, 2010 at Hunter Canyon, Moab UT
Session Producer Kait Mahony
Assistant Session Producer Frank Todaro
Roland Edirol with external Sony microphone

Editing and Mastering Paul Eachus

Photography Kait Mahony

Executive Producer Bob Lord
Audio Director Jeff LeRoy
Production Engineer Nate Hunter
Art & Production Director Brett Picknell
Graphic Designer Emily Roulo, Ryan Harrison
A&R Chris Robinson
Marketing Manager Ethan Fortin

Artist Information

John D. Rojak

Trombonist

John D. Rojak joined the American Brass Quintet in 1991. He is bass trombonist with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, IRIS, New York Pops, Little Orchestra Society, Stamford Symphony, and played for the 16-year run of Broadway’s Les Misérables. He has performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus, New York Chamber Symphony, and as solo trombone of Solisti NY. He has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, for Pope John Paul II in New York's Central Park and St. Patrick's Cathedral, and for Pope Francis in Madison Square Garden.

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