|2||Rhapsody for Trombone|
|4||Serenade for Trombone|
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What stands out as the USP of Brett Baker's latest release is the audible rapport between the band and its long-serving principal trombone. We tend to take for granted the agility of his technique, his fabulous high register and the burnished quality of his sound - with its light, 'bel canto' quality - but Brett is on his finest form throughout this release.
For the listener, the highlight of the CD is Gordon Langford's 43-year old inspiration, commissioned for the 1975 National Finals Gala Concert by Geoffrey Brand.
The disc opens with Kenneth Downie's ebullient Trombone Time. In many ways this sets the tone for the disc. It is easily engageable music written with real understanding for the medium and the solo instrument.
There follows another premiere recording, Stephen Roberts's Trombango written for Brett Baker. This is the real showstopper on the disc. What a stunningly fun piece! Think Piazzola goes to Yorkshire. Argentinian New Tango is the primary influence but superbly transported to the medium of Brass Band and solo trombone. I love the stalking Euphonium lines so characteristic of the genre. I could imagine this being (or becoming) a cornerstone of a trombonist's repertoire and bringing the house down in any performance.
Throughout the disc, the direction of Nicholas Childs is wholly sympathetic, apt and supportive of the soloist. As mentioned before, the Doyen engineering is a model of its kind. Baker's solo lines are always clear and present without ever dominating the accompanying part writing. This really is an excellent disc, a rich and rewarding showcase for the exceptional talents of Brett Baker, the ever-excellent Black Dyke Band and seven engaging, impressive and memorable scores. All-round excellence and thoroughly enjoyable.