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Superbrass: Brass Taps

Nicholas F. Mondello By

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Superbrass' Brass Taps is all wet. Now, before one misinterprets, an explanation is in order. Roger Argente, Principal bass trombonist with the Royal Philharmonic and his illustrious crew comprised of Britain's finest brass and percussion players are sending up eleven impeccably performed original selections all inspired by and programatically about H2O in one way or another.

This intriguing "water-borne" voyage runs the gamut from more classically-tinged interpretations to straight-ahead and improvised jazz. Along that journey we are treated to a highly inspired and masterfully presented performance. While is such a toot hoot (and while its graphics channel "Monty Python" a bit), the offering carries significant seriousness in terms of the complexity of composition, as well as the flawless interpretation therein.

Some of the more complex material here ("Icebreaker" "Raft of Medusa") is indeed an acquired taste. However, considering the enormous demands placed on these performers, the overall presentation is highly stimulating and enjoyable. The more jazz-infused selections ("Firewater," the hilarious "Enormous Pink Jellyfish," "Wade in the Water") demonstrate the outstanding versatility, talent—and overall good humor—of Superbrass. They can swing, too. It's important to note that there's a significant vibrancy imbued across the selections. Even the more reserved pieces ("Deep River") are robustly invigorating and beautiful. Furthermore, Argente's liner selection descriptions help add a little descriptive zing to this already bravura performance.

certainly opens the floodgates to engulf us with some terrific brass and percussion playing and superb works. It's an illustrious performance all around. Dive in. It's high tide.

Track Listing: Icebreaker; Firewater; Inchcolm; Enormous Pink Jellyfish; Highforce; Wade in the Water; Underground Plumbin Blues; The Healing Stream; Flood Warning; Deep River; Raft of Medusa.

Personnel: Captain Roger Argente: trombone; Philip Cobb: trumpet; Niall Keatley: trumpet; Mike Lovatt: trumpet; Paul Mayes: trumpet; Chris Houlding: trombone; Matt Gee: trombone; Andy Wood: trombone; Chris Parkes: French horn; Kevin Morgan: tuba; Mike Smith: drums; Kevin Earley: drums, percussion; Mike Doran: drums, percussion; Frank Ricotti: percussion.

Title: Brass Taps | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced

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