This is another of the seemingly never-ending string of vanity
projects in which Geoffrey Simon assembles every player of a given instrument
that he can lay hands on and then contrives some kitschy arrangements
for them to play.
To their credit, our assembled trumpeters do play well.
They have a tight sound with fine intonation and they pull off rather
predictable arrangements with as much flare and panache as is humanly
possible, given the material. The disc does have one bright shining
moment in the Adagio movement from Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez,
which features a lovely flügelhorn solo by Maurice Murphy.
The problem with discs like these is that the music
has to be arranged and assembled from all sorts of sources, and the
quality is never consistent. This collection is a pastiche of genres
and styles, not really well planned as a program, and on the whole,
pretty dull. The Stan Kenton-esque arrangement of Misty is charming,
but we can go to Kenton himself for that style of playing. On the whole,
this concert would better serve as a demo disc for high school band
directors out shopping for things for their bands to play.
I suppose that trumpet players out there might enjoy
sampling a range of their own wares, but too many of records like this
one end up in the used and cut-out bins as it is. The booklet lists
another volume of the same. Really, one is more than enough. Speaking
of the booklet, it is an exercise in self-flattery.
Recommended only to die-hard trumpet aficionados.