Three for Two (or One or Three) is a versatile composition for trombone(s) and/or euphonium(s) with optional percussion (bongos, snare drum) on any or all movements.
A 6-8 minute work playable with a tenor-bass “trigger” trombone, challenging for but playable by a college senior. Three for Two teaches jazz stylistic characteristics that are not normally encountered in standard classical solos.
The three movements can be performed entirely or independently, and with variances in instrumentation from solo trombone or euphonium (TC euphonium parts included) to duos including bass trombone or percussion or trios including the same. All notes are playable without a trigger-horn, and the duo version is easier for the brass-performer than the solo version. An optional percussion part includes the highly portable instruments of bongos and snare drum so that staging is easily accomplished for a horn/percussion duo or trio.
The title of the piece refers to the three movements scored for duo, solo, or trio (ordered so within the title since it rhymes with the popular title “Tea for Two”). One can generate fourteen instrumentations of this composition, as indicated on the cover sheet of each part.
Watch a performance of live trombone duo at the International Trombone Association Festival 2021
Review from ITA Journal:
Three for Two (or One or Three) is a three-movement composition that may be performed in fourteen different instrumental combinations: I. Two Three, II. Even Eight, III. Triple Play. The main musical material is presented in a solo trombone part, playable on a tenor trombone without an “F” attachment. Other possible combinations include incorporation of an alternate percussion part and various duet versions with or without percussion. There are occasional pedal GGbs and BBbsl the highest note is bb1.
The piece comes with a compact disc that includes the complete score, the solo part, individual parts for various possible performance combinations including treble clef Bb euphonium parts, comparative scores that include the original solo part with other arrangements, a live demo, and “Music Minus One”-style midi tracks for practice and rehearsal. There is an extensive description of the history and musical make-up of the piece included in both the printed version and compact disc scores, along with detailed suggestions for practice, written by the composer.
The piece incorporates Latin, jazz, and Classical influences. There are optional solo lines that may be omitted, allowing opportunities for improvisation. In the first movement, rhythmic complexity offers an opportunity for study of the Afro-Cuban 2/3 clave. The second and third movements are a straight eighth-note ballad, and shuffle feel, respectively.
The extensive pedagogical resources included with the written suggestions, flexible instrumentation, compact disc accompaniments, parts and scores make this piece easy to incorporate into a collegiate degree recital. The piece features a diversity of musical styles, creating an opportunity to include something interesting, while demanding a high level of technical and musical proficiency from the performer(s).
— Sean Read. “Three for Two (or One or Three) for trombone(s) and/or euphonium(s) with optional percussion (bongos, snare drum).” International Trombone Association Journal, Vol. 49, No. 1, January 2021, p. 66.