For this ECM project, John Surman (who plays soprano, baritone, clarinet, bass clarinet and piano) and conductor John Warren wrote a full set of original music for Surman's reeds, a seven-piece brass section and a rhythm section to interpret. This episodic set has its share of sound explorations but also contains swinging sections and an impressive amount of excitement. The colorful solos (mostly by Surman) and the unpredictable writing make this a highly recommended disc. (AMG)
Brass Construction continued to avoid the scrap heap, turning out another better-than-expected album. There were two more good singles in "Walkin' the Line" and "We Can Work It Out," and the production, arrangements, instrumental support, and vocals were all more inspired than they had been in the past.
This is an incredible "live" recording of Pete Fountain in a small group setting. His creativity shines through on each song. Of particular note are the title track, Lazy River, Blues For Ziggy (a true masterpiece), and The Saints. This CD is a New Orleans Jazz masterpiece, by the greatest clarinetist in the world!
"Brass Hommage" is a tribute to the inimitable sound which has made German Brass famous. It acknowledges the success of an audio vision come true: to create a chamber-music ensemble with ten brass musicians, a group with the sound potential of a mighty organ, a symphony orchestra or a big band – a vision which the German Brass musicians have achieved with the musical elegance that is their very own. Their special arrangements have made them into inventors of a highly refined sound idiom that was to become their hallmark. It is compositions for the organ and symphonic works from the classical field that provide the brass players with inspiration, but jazz standards or South American music deliver an equal appeal and the challenge to expand the palette of tone colours. A tango like "La Cumparsita" can transform into the rhythm of a bandoneon, while music by Cole Porter exudes a touch of Broadway flair, "As Time Goes By" conjures up the power of the images from the legendary film "Casablanca", and a jazz classic like "Bourbon Street Parade" emulates the sound of a Dixieland band from New Orleans.