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CD review: On The Town

Redbridge takes the listener on a enjoyable night out around the highways and byways of some musical London haunts.




Redbridge Brass
Musical Director: Chris Bearman
Soloist: Alan Roberts, Adam Hebditch
Doyen Recordings: CD428

Redbridge’s invitation to join them on a night out in the city makes for an enjoyable exploration of the musical highways and byways of multi-genre London.

Forget any immediate sense of organised Oyster travel though in hopping from Broadway to pop, fusion jazz to progressive swing, rhythmic funk to relaxed groove.

Nose around the doors

It’s all slightly chaotic, but all the better for it – making it sound as if you’ve poked your nose around the doors of various backstreet Soho clubs and West End theatres looking for something to tickle your fancy.

Some are more familiar haunts than others: the triptych title track having a polished bell bottomed trouser swagger and dance steps a stone’s throw from Bernstein’s later ‘West Side Story’ score as Gabey, Chip and Ozzie (Gene Kelly, Frank Sintra and Jules Munshin in the 1949 film) enjoy 24 hours shore leave in the Big Apple. 

It’s all slightly chaotic, but all the better for it – making it sound as if you’ve poked your nose around the doors of various backstreet Soho clubs and West End theatres looking for something to tickle your fancy.

‘Forty Second Street’  also retains its Manhattan showtime hoofer-kick, whilst ‘Artistry in Kenton’  is a neatly packaged highlights medley of classic 40’s classical/jazz fusion. 

Although Disney’s ‘Friend Like Me’  was a sugar overload pale pastiche in its original form, the arrangement saves its blushes. In contrast, ‘Wired’  has true originality in its meaty funkiness, something ‘Got to Get You into My Life’  could do with in loosening up its backbone.  

Smashing

MD Chris Bearman instils a classy touch of stylistic nuance which the ensemble eagerly laps up, and the soloists are smashing.

‘Heartland’  and ‘Metropolis 4am’  are also well worth savouring; the former music to accompany an Edward Hopper ‘Nighthawks’ painting, the latter the fag end 70’s sounds of a memorable night before that still rings in a muzzy head.  

Alan Roberts’ flugel captures the breathy depth and languid sadness of Nat King Cole’s ‘Nature Boy’  to a tee, whilst Adam Hebditch displays a casual, steamy flashiness on trumpet in ‘Fire Dance’  that is as deceptively hot as a fresh cinder.   

‘Heartland’  and ‘Metropolis 4am’  are also well worth savouring; the former music to accompany an Edward Hopper ‘Nighthawks’ painting, the latter the fag end 70’s sounds of a memorable night before that still rings in a muzzy head.  

Iwan Fox


To purchase:
WobPlay: http://www.wobplay.com
CD:  https://www.worldofbrass.com/102117
Download: https://www.worldofbrass.com/102117-download

Play list:

1. Friend Like Me (Menken & Ashman arr. Bearman)
2. Nature Boy (Ahbez arr. Bearman)
Soloist: Alan Roberts

3. Artistry in Kenton (Wetzel/Kenton/Rugolo arr. Smith)
4. Wired (Lucy Pankhurst)
5. Metropolis 4am (David G. Wallace)
6. Forty-Second Street (Warren arr. Bennett)
7. Heartland (Ben Crosland)
8. Fire Dance (Vizzutti & Tyzik arr. Hebditch)
Soloist: Adam Hebditch

9. Got to Get You Out of My Life (Lennon/McCartney arr. Baker)
10. On The Town (Bernstein arr. Bearman)
i. The Great Lover
ii. Lonely Town
iii. New York, New York 

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