International Trombone Association Journal

Most trombonists probably know Carol Jarvis as the one who plays the “piccolo solo” in the YouTube video of Bones Apart playing Stars and Stripes Forever. With over a million “hits,” the video is an internet sensation. Jarvis, a very versatile trombonist, has performed in a wide variety of ensembles all over the world including the London Symphony Orchestra, Bon Jovi, and Seal—just to name a few. This CD, SMILE, showcases beautiful jazz ballad playing of some of the world’s most beloved melodies. The arrangements use mostly full orchestra accompaniment while a few use piano accompaniment. All of the arrangements are well done—particularly the title track, Smile —and what could be better than hearing the gorgeous tone of a trombone play the melodies throughout?

There is more than one reason that Smile really needs to be an addition to your listening library. The primary reason is the astonishingly beautiful playing of beautiful melodies with wide appeal. Jarvis’s impeccable pitch and perfectly placed articulations are aspects to envy and “go to school on” as well as her beautiful sound and phrasing. Secondly, half the proceeds of this CD will benefit the British charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, a priority for Jarvis.

Since 2004, Jarvis has been living with a diagnosis of 2a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Throughout a series of harrowing treatments including chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, isolation, and radiotherapy—which took away a considerable amount of her lung capacity (though this reviewer couldn’t tell)—she has not only survived against the odds, but has continued performing with abandon, even completing this CD!

What a remarkable collaboration this was for Jarvis and the Macmillan Cancer support group. Everything about her trombone playing and her life is truly remarkable. Her strength and beauty are very much reflected within her playing of this CD. As she continues to live with her diagnosis, enduring a recent bone marrow transplant, you are urged to support this outstanding undertaking. You will thoroughly enjoy this musically mature performance.

—Deb Scott