American Landscapes - Sellers International Band

Discussion in ' User Reviews' started by PeterBale, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    As promised in another thread, some thoughts about this new acquisition:

    A number of bands in recent days have shown considerable imagination in planning their recordings, notably Leyland and Sellers, and this latest is no exception, with a good mix of familiar and unfamiliar, original works for band and transcriptions. They have also included a couple of vocal contributions with two numbers from West Side Story, and a lovely setting of "Scarlet Ribbons" - played beautifully on flugel by Natalie Beer - makes effective use of a piano.

    As the title would indicate, there are American connections with all the tracks, although I must say it took a bit of getting used to Alan Jenkins as narrator for Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" - the words are perfectly clear but the accent doesn't quite fit! This track was one of the deciding factors in buying the disc, having played it myself with the actor Christopher Casenove narrating, and it doesn't disappoint despite the accent.

    Mark Bousie shines in Elgar Howarth's setting of "Jeannie with the light brown hair", and the percussion - effective throughout - have their own feature in the plantation patrol "Ole South" (didn't we have a thread a while back where people were looking for percussion features?)

    Stephen Bulla is represented by "Images for Brass", written to commemorate the Battle of Iwo Jima, and the more light-hearted "Suite of American overtures - Marching to Glory" - played here with appropriate exuberance but without the pistol shots included memorably by the New York Staff Band on tour in 1985!

    All the tracks have their attractions, and another favourite is "Desert Water Hole" from Ferde Grofe's "Grand Canyon Suite" -- not as well-known as "On the trail" but well worth hearing.

    If anyone is looking for a present for someone, or a treat for themselves, there is something here for everyone, and I can recommend it whole-heartedly.

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