“The name “Little Black Lucille” wasn’t used kindly at first, but in the end my Aunt Lucille, an unloved orphan, built a loving family against the odds.”
- Howard Johnson
This composition is certainly a tribute to the life and struggles of Howard Johnson’s Aunt Lucille. The penny whistle opening and appearance near the end is a great tribute to the textural disjunction of the arrangement and the juxtaposition of the story that unfolds. He has composed a piece that is soulful, powerful, and triumphal.
Howard Johnson’s jazz tuba ensemble is envisioned as a tuba choir-with tubas in F, E flat, CC, and BB flat- that encourages tuba players to learn to play in the upper register. His charts were originally written for his tuba jazz ensemble, Gravity, formed in 1968 with Howard Johnson as solo lead tuba. The charts can in fact be performed with euphoniums; but he formed his group, made his arrangements and developed this specific instrumentation 50 years ago as a statement about tubas and prefers to hear his arrangements played in this configuration, encouraging tuba players to develop the range required. His most important advice is that whatever instrumentation is used, make if fun and find the best jazz rhythm section!
- Velvet Brown, ed.
Score and parts included: 1 hard copy of score. All parts on disc for printing. Parts included on disc: flute, tuba 1-5, piano, bass, drum set