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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



BRASS JAW

Branded

Keywork Records
KWRCD011

 

 


1. Siddharta
2. Duck's Chickens
3. Broken
4. Drive My Car
5. Left Unsaid
6. Rochester Rumble
7. March to Happiness
8. Branded
9. Frontiere Incarcerated
10. Arthur Digby Sellers Blues
11. Flat Pack Frog
12. The Well Dented Clavicle
13. I Like You
14. The Nightmare Room
15. String Theory
16. Peaches En Regalia
17. Little Girl Blue

Ryan Quigley- Trumpet
Paul Towndrow - Alto sax
Konrad Wiszniewski - Tenor sax
Allon Beauvoisin - Baritone sax

 

Brass Jaw comprises four leading members of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra that played several well-received concerts at last November's London Jazz Festival. Working without a rhythm section, the quartet takes an engagingly humorous approach to music-making as may be seen from some of the quirky tune titles. Most of the tunes on this CD are originals by the band members with the bulk of the arranging responsibilities resting with Towndrow. They do not outstay their welcome, generally lasting three or four minutes.

When first formed, Brass Jaw was an all-saxophone quartet. The recent replacement of one sax by trumpeter Ryan Quigley has given the band a sharper edge, although all four players are excellent soloists. At times, the insistent rhythms created by the trumpet/three saxes line-up sound as if there must be at least a double-bass in there somewhere - the ear can be pleasantly deceived.

With seventeen tunes on this CD, there is a wide choice of styles. My own favourite tracks were the more reflective numbers such as Towndrow's Broken, Beauvoisin's Left Unsaid, Quigley's I Like You and the one standard, Little Girl Blue. Occasionally I felt yes, very clever but I like to recognise the tune! But they must be a lot of fun to see live - and maybe live is the best way to hear them.

George Stacy



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