Jim Shearer’s Music for Tuba and String Quartet highlights five pieces by living composers, and one that has been all but forgotten to the annals of time. Shearer opens his CD with Manny Albam’s Quintet for Tuba and Strings, a work originally written for Harvey Phillips but which still remains unpublished. Shearer has gone to extensive lengths to resurrect this piece, and his program notes on the background and context of the work are particularly informative and reveal a great deal of energy Shearer has put into its revival. An accomplished jazz arranger and saxophone player, Albam’s “classical” writing is full of unexpected harmonies and conversational exchanges between the tuba and members of the string quartet. Shearer’s performance of this work showcases precisely why this piece should become a staple of the tuba repertoire.
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Genevieve Clarkson, Oklahoma City UniversityITEA Journal, Fall 2018