CD cover - The London Trumpet SoundThe London Trumpet Sound

25-Jul-2002

Conductor: Geoffrey Simon
Cala Recordings: CACD 0113
Total Playing Time: 44.06 mins

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Featuring: Tony Adie, Bryan Allen, Paul Archibald, Guy Barker, Paul Benniston, Roy Bilham, Martin Bunce, Robert Farley, Tony Fisher, Rod Franks, Murray Greig, Tim Hawes, William Houghton, Mike Lovatt, Henry Lowther, Anne McAneny, Maurice Murphy, Paul Newton, John Wallace, Roger Webster, Patrick White, Adam Wright, Brian Raby, Simon Gunton, Tim Smart, Simon Wills, Roy Babbington, Mitch Dalton, Harold Fisher, John Horler, Jim Richardson, Mike Smith, Colin Currie, Russell Jordan, Anthony Kerr.

Ever thought what it would be like to manage to get the top 27 trumpet players in the country together, stick them in a recording studio with some top class session musicians and give them some classy arrangements to play? Wouldn't it make your mouth water if you able to get the legendary Maurice Murphy to play the "Adagio from Concerto de Aranjuez" on flugelhorn or Guy Barker, one of the top jazz players of his generation to give you a quick rendition of "Misty"? What about Mike Lovatt going bananas on "Sing, Sing, Sing" or Paul Archibald spanking the piccolo trumpet part of "Penny Lane"?

This CD gives you the lot and more (although at 44 minutes long our appetite was merely whetted and not satisfied) and the standard of the playing throughout is nothing short of superb. Just the 9 tracks, but what fantastic tracks they are and cover the whole genre of trumpet repertoire from big band blasting to classical ensemble with plenty in between.

Mike Lovatt is on scorching form on the first track, "Sing, Sing, Sing" arranged by Paul Sarcich just the right side of "dirty" if you know what we mean and it brings a smile of disbelief on your chops when you wonder how the hell these blokes manage to sound like that. Next up, Guy Barker is class personified with a smooth and dark run out on "Misty" arranged by Alan Grout. Barker is a superb player, and has a deserved reputation as one of the best jazz players in the world winner of the British Jazz Award for Trumpeter of the Year in both 1994 and 1996 and on this track you can hear why.

John Wallace and Murray Greig enjoy themselves and show off impeccable technique on "Jarabe Tapatio" "Mexican Hat Dance" (the music to the cartoon Speedy Gonzales to you and us) and then Paul Archibald gives a splendid masterclass in how to make the piccolo trumpet sound easy with a reminder of the "Beatles" in the classic "Penny Lane".

For the classical trumpet fans there is a superb piece of natural trumpet playing from Robert Farley in "The Prince of Denmark's March" with lip trills and perfect close harmonic intonation that is mind boggling when you think it's all done without the aid of valves. John Wallace, James Watson and a smaller ensemble of 10 players then give a run through Mozart's "Rondo Alla Turca" that reveals double-tonguing technique that is smooth and clean and gives the whole item a playful zest.

The largest ensemble then makes easy meat of Paul Archibald's clever arrangement of Rossini's "The Thievish Magpie" complete with bass trumpet parts and three flugel horns (Roger Webster no less plays the third flugel part!) before the real treat of the release for us Maurice Murphy on supreme form with a distinctive and faithful arrangement of the "Adagio" from Rodrigo's "Concerto de Aranguez".

This arrangement by Daryl Runswick is a close to the original in form that you can get (the solo line reflects the guitar to a tee) and there is none of the clap along percussion part, or the totally inappropriate frills and turns and pseudo jazz filigree that has now become the norm when the "Brassed Off" version is played. This is pure class a player with a complete understanding of style and the music is all the better for it.

The final track sees the group enjoying themselves further with a lightweight yet enjoyable crack at Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever" with Archibald and Tim Hawes whacking out the obligato parts in fine style, The bass end is a bit weak not surprising since there are only two bass trumpets and two flugelhorns up against a nine strong trumpet end that includes Murphy on the top chair and John Wallace playing the "bottom third cornet" line as number 9 in the line up!

This is a delight of a release although as we said we could have done with a bit more than just 44 minutes. That being said though, it is some of the best 44 minutes you will ever likely to hear playing of a rare brilliance in all its guises. With a line up that is like manna from heaven you can't really go wrong, but it still takes some clever arranging and professional performing to ensure that the overall standard is as high as this. There was surely a temptation just for the players to show off but this isn't the case. Quite short and brilliant.

What's on this CD?

1. Sing, Sing, Sing: (Prima arr. Sarcich) 5.22
Soloist: Mike Lovatt (solo trumpet)
2. Misty: (Garner arr. Grout) 5.50
Soloist: Guy Barker (solo trumpet)
3. Jarabe Tapatio (Mexican Hat Dance): 3.02
Soloists: John Wallace and Murray Greig
4. Penny Lane: (Lennon/McCartney) 2.52
Soloist: Paul Archibald (piccolo trumpet)
5. The Prince of Denmark’s March: (Clarke arr. Wright) 2.40
Soloist: Robert Farley (natural trumpet)
6. Rondo Alla Turca: (Mozart arr. Humphries) 3.11
7. The Thievish Magpie: (Rossini arr. Archibald) 10.32
8. Adagio from Concerto de Aranguez: (Rodrigo arr. Runswick) 6.09
Soloist: Maurice Murphy (flugel horn)
9. The Stars and Stripes Forever: (Sousa arr. Payne) 3.38
Soloists: Paul Archibald and Tim Hawes

Total Playing Time: 44.06 mins

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Brett BakerBrett Baker
BSc (Hons), ARCM, PG Dip

Rath clinician, conductor, teacher, adjudicator, editor