162

The Polizeiorchester Hamburg: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
One of the highest compliments I can pay the Poleiziorchester Hamburg is to say the ensemble reminds me of Rob McConnell's Boss Brass. The charts are dissimilar, as one would expect on a tribute to Louis Armstrong, but there's the same aura of understated elegance and casual self­assurance that one hears from the Brass, as director Kristine Kresge uses horns, clarinets, piccolo, flute, oboe and even a banjo to augment the usual trumpets, trombones, reeds and rhythm and add splashes of color to the splendid arrangements, all but one by D. Mensinger or M. Honetschläger. While the songs may evoke memories of Armstrong, this is Satchmo in contemporary clothing, as the Poleiziorchester takes the largely familiar themes and remodels them to suit the temperament of a modern big band. Elements of trad Jazz are skillfully woven into the tapestry, as for example on "Royal Garden Blues," but Armstrong would no doubt have been taken aback by Steve Gray's slow­paced arrangement of "Hello Dolly" on which American expatriate Jiggs Whigham offers a master class in advanced trombone. Whigham is featured as well on "When You're Smiling," "Struttin' with Some Barbecue," with vocalist Cynthia Utterbach on "Stars Fell on Alabama" and with British trumpet star Gerard Presencer on "Basin Street." Presencer, whose luminous tone and marvelous technique never fail to impress, is heard again on "Cornet Chop Suey," "West End Blues," "Hotter Than That" and (backing Utterbach) on "St. Louis Blues" and "What a Wonderful World," the last on flugelhorn. The Polizeiorchester has several topnotch soloists of its own, most notably flugel Andrzej Balsam (featured on "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans"), tenor Michael Rossberg ("West End Blues," "A Foggy Day"), alto Oreste Kindilde ("A Foggy Day"), trumpeters Balsam and Rolf Toschka ("King of the Zulus"), clarinetist Atila Sarkezi ("Cornet Chop Suey," "West End Blues") and trombonist Andreas Hussong ("Cornet Chop Suey," with Sarkezi and Toschka on "Royal Garden Blues"). I'd love to have listed complete personnel but the Poleiziorchester slapped its contact information over the list, making a couple of names unreadable. If I can't list 'em all I won't list any, as that would be unfair to those whose names were omitted. Be that as it may, this is an impressive tribute album by a brightly burnished contemporary ensemble that conveys the spirit if not the style of the incomparable Louis Armstrong.

Contact:Mons Records, Taubenplatz 42, 67705 Trippstedt, Germany. Web site, www.monsrecords.de; e­mail monsmu@aol.com. www.polizeiorchester.de; phone +49 (0)40 428 65 9700.


Title: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Mons


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Heart Knows" CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Bright Yellow with Bass" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Not This Time" CD/LP/Track Review Not This Time
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Fusion Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Fusion Machine
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "A Thing Called Joe" CD/LP/Track Review A Thing Called Joe
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Double Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Double Mirror
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor