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Amazing Grace
Christmas Traditional, Anonymous, American Traditional
Amazing Grace
Genres: Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Megumi Kanda, a native of Tokyo, Japan, began to play the trombone at the age of ten. She continued her studies at the prestigious Toho High School of Music in Tokyo, where she studied with Sumio Miwa, trombonist of the NH...  more »

      
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Album Description
Megumi Kanda, a native of Tokyo, Japan, began to play the trombone at the age of ten. She continued her studies at the prestigious Toho High School of Music in Tokyo, where she studied with Sumio Miwa, trombonist of the NHK Symphony. She came to the US in 1994, and studied with James DeSano, the principal trombonist of the Cleveland Orchestra, at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is currently principal trombonist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Bruce Stark writes: "This project was truly a pleasure to be part of, owing to the fact that Ms. Kanda is an extraordinary classical musician, at once adventurous, creative, polished and gifted. In these arrangements, I have tried to bring out the natural, expressive qualities of the trombone. Ballads such as Wayfaring Stranger bring out the somber, lyrical voice of the instrument, while Gospel Song Fantasy was intended to display a broad range of expressive capabilities, from fast and technically challenging passages to soaring, robust melodies. In We Shall Overcome and Nearer My God To Thee I wrote trombone trio and quartet passages that Ms. Kanda overdubbed, creating a unique resonance that not only a group of trombones (moreover, a group of Megumi Kanda?s!) can achieve. I hope the contrast of Mr. Parris? more traditional arrangements for gospel choir and my less orthodox arrangements of gospel melodies offer a fresh and varied listening of these enduring tunes, while preserving the beauty and depth inherent in the original pieces."
 

CD Reviews

A Very Strange but Oddly Endearing CD
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 08/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This CD aims to introduce us to the trombone playing of Megumi Kanda, a young (and very attractive, if that matters!) Japanese woman who is currently principal trombone of the Milwaukee Symphony, and a former student of James DeSano, principal of the Cleveland Orchestra. The musical selections, though, are very odd; they are arrangements of Protestant hymns, American folksongs, and gospel songs, and their order is mixed so that, for example, shout-out gospel arrangements are followed by mildly jazzy r&b church-school classics like 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus,' followed by a Kanda-overdubbed trombone quartet arrangement of 'We Shall Overcome.' Recorded in Rochester (where the soloist was once in the Rochester Philharmonic), participants include the Rochester Community Gospel Choir, and pianists Bruce Stark, the Rev. Alvin Parris III, and Elizabeth Kanda (the soloist's sister?). The arrangements are by Stark and Parris.

The playing is more than OK. Ms Kanda has undoubtedly followed every trombonist's mantra to practice 'long, low, soft tones,' which she does very nicely. She can also rock. And taken individually these pieces are rewarding (particularly for this reviewer, an old trombonist and church organist). Still, I have no idea who the target audience for this disc might be. Is it trombone fanciers? Protestant musicians? Christians who want wordless renditions of their favorite hymn tunes? (And, by the way, the texts for the hymns are included in the slickly produced booklet. Another odd and slightly evangelical touch.)

You'll have to decide if this one is for you.

TT=54:19

Scott Morrison"