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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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COOL BRASS

The London Sound

Cala Records CACDO122

 

 

  1. Misty

  2. Not Like This

  3. Penny Lane

  4. Daydream

  5. Fat Belly Blues

  6. En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor

  7. Someone To Watch Over Me

  8. Edelweiss

  9. Dos Gardenias

  10. The Pink Panther

  11. Lana's Lullaby

  12. Here's That Rainy Day

  13. God Bless The Child

  14. Titanic Fantasy


Tony Adie, Bryan Allen, Paul Archibald, Guy Barker, Paul Benniston, Roy Bilham, Robert Farley, Tony Fisher, Rod Franks, Murray Greig, Tim Hawes, William Houghton, Mike Lovatt, Henry Lowther, Anne McAnery, Maurice Murphy, Paul Newton, Carl Nielsen, Tony Rickard, John Wallace, James Watson, Roger Webster, Patrick White, Adam Wright - Trumpet

Simon Gunton, Brian Raby, Tim Smart, Simon Wills – Bass trumpet

David Childs, Robert Childs - Euphonium

Roy Babbington, Malcolm Creese, Mitch Dalton, Harold Fisher, John Horler, Jim Richardson, Mike Smith - Rhythm

Colin Currie, Russell Jordan, Anthony Kerr, Gary Kettel, Neil Percy, Sam Walton – Percussion

(tracks 1, 3, 6, 9)

Angela Barnes, Richard Bissill, Nigel Black, Jeffrey Bryant, Anthony Chiddell, Laurence Davies, Pip Eastop, Anthony Halstead, Timothy Jackson, Nicholas Korth, David Lee, Jonathan Lipton, Frank Lloyd, Cormac Ó hAodáin, Martin Owen, Christopher Parkes, James Rattigan, Kathryn Saunders, Hugh Seenan - Horn

John Parricelli - Guitar

Gwilym Simcock - Piano

Sam Burgess - Bass

Martin France - Drums

Chris Barron - Percussion

(tracks 2, 4, 5, 8, 11, 13)

Peter Bassano, Ian Bousfield, Dudley Bright, Ronald Bryans, David Chandler, Eric Crees, Richard Edwards, Henry Hardy, Roger Harvey, Michael Hext, Robert Hughes, Keith McNichol, Christopher Mowat, Steve Saunders, Colin Sheen, Lindsay Shilling, Richard Tyack - Trombone

Paul Clarvis, Gary Kettel - Percussion

Steve Greetham - Bass guitar

(tracks 7, 10)

Stephen Bell, Richard Berry, John Bimson, Richard Bissill, Nigel Black, Peter Blake, Timothy Brown, Nicholas Busch, Anthony Chiddell, Richard Clews, Laurence Davies, Pip Eastop, Paul Gardham, Anthony Halstead, William Haskins, Timothy Jones, David Lee, Jonathan Lipton, Frank Lloyd, Robert McIntosh, Gareth Mollison, Michael Murray, Cormac Ó hAodáin, John Pigneguy, David Pyatt, James Rattigan, Simon Rayner, Hugh Seenan, Derek Taylor, Michael Thompson, John Thurgood, Richard Watkins - Horn

Peter Saberton - Piano

Christopher Laurence – Bass

Harold Fisher, Stephen Henderson, Gary Kettel, Greg Knowles, William Lockhart, Frank Ricotti – Percussion

(tracks 12, 14)


This compilation CD represents something of a curiosity, at least in terms of a jazz review. The music on it is drawn from five separate discs with four separate groups of musicians. Those involved are primarily classical artistes recruited from the many fine orchestras that grace the city of London. There is also a sprinkling of quality jazz musicians. The music itself is a mixture of jazz standards and popular music classics. The result is undoubtedly melodic without containing much in the way of improvisation. The outstanding exception is Fat Belly Blues, written by horn player Richard Bissill who solos on several other tracks as well as providing arrangements, too. Here, however, it is fellow instrumentalist Anthony Halstead who gets 'down and dirty' to provide the most authentic blues flavour on the disc. Gwilym Simcock joins him on this track, once more showing us that he can switch into a jazz groove at the proverbial drop of a hat.

The composer Jerry Lubbock, whom I remember recording an infectious number entitled Lemon Twist, as a singer/pianist way back in 1958, wrote Not Like This, the second piece on the disc and this also stands up well. A strong theme enables the soloists (Hugh Seenan on horn, the lyrical Gwilym Simcock on piano and a moody Richard Bissill on trumpet) to create a poignant listening experience. Someone To Watch Over Me features Richard Edwards, professor of jazz trombone at the Royal College of Music. He draws out the beauty of the familiar Gershwin tune, though possibly the treatment is a little too respectful for most jazz lovers. The same may be said for En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor, played reverently and straight. Titanic Fantasy, one of the best known compositions of the recently deceased James Horner, is a memorable piece, beautifully played. If, however, you want a jazz version of My Heart Will Go On (the theme from Titantic), I'd recommend the tenor sax player, Tim Whitehead, on his album of some years ago, Personal Standards. Another track which features Simcock, and is arranged by him, is God Bless The Child. This takes a while to get there but ultimately is an intriguing version of the Billie Holiday classic.

Trumpeter Guy Barker is the soloist on Misty and, as we might expect from someone who can flourish in any setting, does not disappoint. A further familiar figure from the UK jazz scene is Henry Lowther who gives an accomplished trumpet solo on the Latin-tinged Dos Gardenias. As for Henry Mancini's The Pink Panther, a swinging version is delivered with Richard Edwards on trombone soloing in style and percussionist Paul Clarvis helping to drive along a fiery brass section. Make no mistake, there are some technically superb performances from musicians of any provenance on this disc. On the whole, though, it falls somewhere between orchestral and big band music. I would place it in the easy-listening category and none the worse for that, since it is an excellent example of its kind.

James Poore



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