Slick and fun
The London trumpet sound
impresses KEITH BRAMICH
'Ten in the morning, a new group, the first session, a commercial studio.
Too soon for magic -- it would take at least a day to get it going. But when
Geoffrey Simon brought down the baton for the first read-through of Misty
[listen -- track 2, 0:00-0:58], Guy Barker and
his fourteen colleagues showed it was already there ...'
So writes Paul Sarcich in the CD booklet for The London Trumpet Sound,
Not normally drawn to compilations or gimmick recordings (101 favourite
heckelphone classics volume 23 and the like), I was in danger of missing
this little feast, impressive from the very first note because it's both
slick and fun, and the playing is top-notch.
For each of these wide-ranging arrangements [listen
-- track 4, 0:48-1:20], ensembles of up to twenty musicians are hand-picked
by John Wallace and Roy Bilham from a group of twenty seven top London trumpet
players -- the list is practically a who's who of the UK brass world, and
there's also a superstar percussion section.
I don't know if Simon Eadon used any post-processing, but it would have
been possible (with sessions at both BBC Maida Vale Studio 3 and St Jude-on-the-Hill,
London) to choose a natural acoustic to suit each piece. The sound is mostly
crisp, dry, forward and exciting (suggesting the BBC Maida Vale Studio 3
sessions), but with more space and a deeper sound in evidence occasionally,
such as in the Mozart.
The whole enterprise seems to be switched-on financially, too, with corporate
sponsors, CD booklet advertising, exclusive availability of scores and parts
for the specially-produced arrangements, and (no doubt with one eye on the
international market) a blockbusting American finale (Stars and Stripes
here [listen -- track 9, 2:30-3:28], but volume
two, if you can believe it, ends with an arrangement of the 'Hoedown' from
Copland's Rodeo). If this all resulted in a paid jolly for players,
arrangers and Cala staff then so much the better, but it must have been
hard work too.
Don't miss two extra music samples (in MP3 format) currently on the Cala
Records homepage, by the way -- John Humphries' version of the Rondo Alla
Turca and Sarcich's gorgeous arrangement of Sing, Sing, Sing
by Prima which opens the disc.
Copyright © 1 March 2003
Keith Bramich, Worcestershire, UK
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The London Trumpet Sound Vol 1
CACD0113 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 44'06" 2002 Cala Records Ltd
Mike Lovatt, solo trumpet; Guy Barker, solo trumpet; Paul Archibald, solo piccolo trumpet; Robert Farley, solo natural trumpet; Maurice Murphy, solo flugelhorn; trumpet ensemble: Tony Adie; Bryan Allen, Paul Archibald, Guy Barker, Paul Benniston, Roy Bilham, Martin Bunce, Robert Farley, Tony Fisher, Rod Franks, Murray Greig, Simon Gunton, Tim Hawes, William Houghton, Mike Lovatt, Henry Lowther, Anne McAneny, Maurice Murphy, Paul Newton, Brian Raby, Tim Smart, John Wallace, James Watson, Roger Webster, Patrick White, Simon Wills, Adam Wright; John Horler, piano; Mitch Dalton, guitar; Roy Babbington, bass and electric bass; Jim Richardson, electric bass; drums: Harold Fisher, Mike Smith; percussion: Colin Currie, Anthony Kerr, Gary Kettel, Neil Percy, Sam Walton; Russell Jordan, timpani; Geoffrey Simon, conductor
Prima arr Paul Sarcich: Sing, Sing, Sing; Garner arr Alan Gout: Misty; Trad arr Andrew Crowley: Jarabe Tapatio (Mexican Hat Dance); Lennon/McCartney arr Roger Harvey: Penny Lane; Clarke arr Simon Wright: The Prince of Denmark's March; Mozart arr John Humphries: Rondo Alla Turca; Rossini arr Paul Archibald: The Thieving Magpie Overture; Rodrigo arr Daryl Runswick: Adagio from Concierto de Aranjuez; Sousa arr Richard Payne: The Stars and Stripes Forever
Record Box is Music & Vision's
regular Saturday series of shorter CD reviews