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Under the Spell of Spain.

Under the Spell of Spain. Superbrass; Mike Allen, Philip Cobb, Toby Coles, Mike Lovatt, Jim Lynch, Paul Mayes, Brian Thomson, Adam Wright, trumpets, flugelhorns, piccolo trumpets; Chris Parkes, horn, tenor horn; Matthew Gee, Mike Hext, Phil White, Andy Wood, tromones, euphoniums, flugalbone; Kevin Morgan, tuba; Andy Barclay, Paul Clarvis, Michael Doran, Matt Perry, Frank Riccoti, Mike Smith, percussion and drum kit; Roger Argente, bass trombone, contrabass trombone, executive producer. Superbrass SBCD1

Contents: Como poden per sas Culpas, Anon, arr. Jock McKenzie; Tientos y Danzas, Gareth Wood; Dindirindin, Anon, arr. McKenzi; Fugatango, Steve Waterman; Air des Espagnoles, Jean Baptiste Lully, arr. McKenzie; Donde el Mar Saluda al Cielo, Mark Bassey; Homenaje a Don Luiz de Victoria, Tomas Luiz de Victoria, arr. David Powell; Los Canarios, Gaspar Sanz, arr. Powell; Juanear, Jim Rattagan; La Perla Negra, Colin Skinner; Dulcinea, David Powell; Castles in Spain, Mark Lockheart; Malaguena, Ernesto Lecuona, arr. Stuart Malcolm.

Superbrass is superfun! This Phillip Jones-inspired brass ensemble based in London has recorded a remarkably colorful and engaging CD of music "inspired by the vibrant country and people of Spain." Tubist, arranger, and composer David Powell, writing in the liner notes of the inspirational paintings of Goya, describes an enigmatic duality in Spanish culture: "Behind the colorful facade of flamenco[....] lies a deep and immediate engagement with life and love. In Spanish music, hypnotic, slow improvisation gives way to furiously rhythmic urgency, and the keening of the voice speaks of age-old tragedy and suffering."

Indeed, track after track on this CD contain enigmatic pulse-pumping musical essences that will make you want to jump for joy, weep your heart out, or dance until dawn. The opening track is based on Canticles of the Blessed Virgin composed at the court of King Alfonso X of Castile in the second half of the 13th century. The music is riveting from the opening crash of the percussion through the last fiery pulses of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona's Malaguena. Throughout the CD, styles as diverse as medieval polyphony, modern big band, salsa, and tango merge and weave their way, track by track, as if taking the listener on a guided tour through the country, history, and worldwide cultural influence of the Iberian peninsula.

All of the musicians in Superbrass display solid technique and incredible stylistic flexibility. The arrangements exploit the color of the PJBE instrumentation, and the addition of a battery of percussion and brass doubles (flugel horns, flugel trombone, tenor horn, contrabass trombone, etc.) add to the variety of sound on this luxuriant recording. If you love Spain, if you love brass, or if you just want to be inspired to cook your next paella, get this CD.

Lydia Van Dreel, Editor

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Author:Van Dreel, Lydia
Publication:The Horn Call
Article Type:Sound recording review
Date:Oct 1, 2012
Words:448
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