Cruisin’ Through FireCruisin’ Through Fire
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Cruisin’ Through Fire

for percussion trio
Level: Med-Advanced
Duration: 5:30
Personnel: 3 players
Release Date: 2021
Product ID : TSPCE21-002
Price: $38.00
Item #: TSPCE21-002

Formats Available:


Description

Cruisin’ Through Fire by Jackson Riffle is a drummy, exciting, and energetic multipercussion trio that utilizes a centralized bass drum surrounded by three identical set ups of two bongos and a concert tom for each player. This piece starts out with a bang, followed by a groove that is soon interrupted by another explosion before dying down to a calm, subdued texture. This intensifies, building into a new groove-based section, which persists beneath fiery solo sections for each performer. As the tempo increases, so does the volume and rhythmic demand for each player.

Cruisin’ Through Fire comes as a professionally printed and bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or for tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

3 sets of bongos

3 toms (high, medium, low)

Bass drum (mounted horizontally and centrally)

Reviews

For those seeking something similar to the first movement of “Trio Per Uno,” Jackson Riffle’s trio “Cruisin’ Through Fire” will be a welcome discovery. Much like the aforementioned crowd-pleaser, “Cruisin’ Through Fire” features a shared horizontal bass drum surrounded by three identical setups, each comprising a pair of bongos and one concert tom. The two pieces are undoubtedly cut from the same cloth, to the point where one wonders if the many similarities within the latter (especially in terms of instrumentation, rhythmic language, and use of ostinato-driven metric modulations) are inspired by, or in fact a tribute to, the former.

The decision to exclusively use drums is, I think, ultimately a good one, and the composer goes out of his way to explore the available sound palette through the use of some interesting (and occasionally flashy) extended techniques. “Cruisin’ Through Fire” was clearly written for performers who have spent some time on a drumline, as many rudimental licks and stickings are clearly borrowed from the football field. The form of the piece is fairly predictable, with alternating episodes of powerful tutti material, solo passages over accompanimental ostinati, and “splits” trading around the ensemble. This is a piece written for the 21st Century: it is clearly intended to be seen, not merely heard, with much of the material traveling around the trio to little aural consequence but great visual effect.

The publisher lists this piece as medium-advanced, but I disagree. Any piece with this much ensemble demand and rhythmic complexity (exemplified by sixteenth-note quintuplets starting off the beat, played in unison) is really only appropriate for performers at or beyond the college level. Yes, an extremely talented high school trio might be able to inject this piece into their bloodstreams through repeated YouTube viewings and sheer force of will, but beyond burning a few extra calories each rehearsal, I don’t think there’s enough pre-college educational value to be had for the amount of time and energy the piece would require.

—Brian Graiser
Percussive Notes
Vol. 59, No. 4, August 2021

Description

Cruisin’ Through Fire by Jackson Riffle is a drummy, exciting, and energetic multipercussion trio that utilizes a centralized bass drum surrounded by three identical set ups of two bongos and a concert tom for each player. This piece starts out with a bang, followed by a groove that is soon interrupted by another explosion before dying down to a calm, subdued texture. This intensifies, building into a new groove-based section, which persists beneath fiery solo sections for each performer. As the tempo increases, so does the volume and rhythmic demand for each player.

Cruisin’ Through Fire comes as a professionally printed and bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or for tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

3 sets of bongos

3 toms (high, medium, low)

Bass drum (mounted horizontally and centrally)

Reviews

For those seeking something similar to the first movement of “Trio Per Uno,” Jackson Riffle’s trio “Cruisin’ Through Fire” will be a welcome discovery. Much like the aforementioned crowd-pleaser, “Cruisin’ Through Fire” features a shared horizontal bass drum surrounded by three identical setups, each comprising a pair of bongos and one concert tom. The two pieces are undoubtedly cut from the same cloth, to the point where one wonders if the many similarities within the latter (especially in terms of instrumentation, rhythmic language, and use of ostinato-driven metric modulations) are inspired by, or in fact a tribute to, the former.

The decision to exclusively use drums is, I think, ultimately a good one, and the composer goes out of his way to explore the available sound palette through the use of some interesting (and occasionally flashy) extended techniques. “Cruisin’ Through Fire” was clearly written for performers who have spent some time on a drumline, as many rudimental licks and stickings are clearly borrowed from the football field. The form of the piece is fairly predictable, with alternating episodes of powerful tutti material, solo passages over accompanimental ostinati, and “splits” trading around the ensemble. This is a piece written for the 21st Century: it is clearly intended to be seen, not merely heard, with much of the material traveling around the trio to little aural consequence but great visual effect.

The publisher lists this piece as medium-advanced, but I disagree. Any piece with this much ensemble demand and rhythmic complexity (exemplified by sixteenth-note quintuplets starting off the beat, played in unison) is really only appropriate for performers at or beyond the college level. Yes, an extremely talented high school trio might be able to inject this piece into their bloodstreams through repeated YouTube viewings and sheer force of will, but beyond burning a few extra calories each rehearsal, I don’t think there’s enough pre-college educational value to be had for the amount of time and energy the piece would require.

—Brian Graiser
Percussive Notes
Vol. 59, No. 4, August 2021



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