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The London Trumpet Sound. Volume 2
(Arturo?) SANDOVAL

Mambo Caliente arr. Tony Rickard

Dos Gardenias arr. Richard Payne

I Heard It Through The Grapevine

John WILLIAMS (b.1932)

Superman – theme arr. Paul Sarcich

Amazing Grace arr. Daryl Runswick
Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928)

Sinfonietta – Fanfare

Jean-Baptiste ARBAN (1825-1889)

Theme and Variations sur ‘Le Carnival de Venise’
Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)

Music for the Royal Fireworks – 3 Movements
Ouverture, La Réjouissance, Menuet

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990)

Rodeo – Hoedown

The London Trumpet Sound/Geoffrey Simon
Recorded BBC Maida Vale Studio 3 and St Jude-on-the-Hill, London, August 2001
CALA CACD 0114 [44.38]

This is another of Cala’s enjoyable series of discs devoted to London ensembles. The first volume of The London Trumpet Sound brought us a light-hearted mix of virtuosity, languorous rhythm and bold panache and so does this one. A look at the personnel will provoke nods of brassy admiration – Maurice Murphy, Patrick White, Mike Lovatt, Rod Franks and John Wallace (playing Trumpet 12 in I Heard It Through The Grapevine – luxury casting). For the jazzier-minded we find in the august and serried ranks Henry Lowther (who used to play with Mike Westbrook) and Guy Barker with rhythm sections boasting bassists Roy Babbington (much missed in the Stan Tracey bands) and Malcolm Creese, currently with John Dankworth. Rising percussion star Colin Currie is here as well – and happily so.

With this collection of instrumentalists few things could go wrong technically so it just remains to examine the repertoire. I’ve assumed that the opening Mambo is by Arturo Sandoval because documentation specifics are rather hazy but it certainly gets us off to an evocative start. Mysterious percussion leads into the spry and springy rhythms familiar from the first volume – White on trumpet and Lowther on Flügelhorn take the joint honours, the tonal differences between the brighter trumpet and the more mellow flügel working well. There’s fine-laid back rhythm in Dos Gardenias and similar front-line soloists, Babbington’s bass anchoring things splendidly (and flexibly). There’s a funky workout on I Heard It Through The Grapevine and plenty of antiphonal fun on the Superman theme – though it’s notably articulate and not a mere rabble-rouser. This old heart sank as Amazing Grace began but actually Daryl Runswick’s arrangement is peculiarly intimate and not cloying at all. The Arban, a trumpet/cornet standby, gets a vivacious and also wistful workout courtesy of Messrs Wallace and Roger Webster and of the three movements from Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks the second is the best – there’s a slight lugubriousness about the opening Ouverture. Tony Rickard’s Copland arrangement gives us a suitably raucous envoi. Good to have the band breakdowns for each selection and pocket biographies too. Short timing – but maybe this reflects the difficulty of getting these London-based brass blowers into one location to record them. Good fun.

Jonathan Woolf


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