How do you choose the brass band cds you buy?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Veri, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. Veri

    Veri Member

    I'm curious to see how other people choose band cds... I listen to quite a bit of band music as I travel around, and every so often I get bored with my cds and buy some more. But it's not like buying other genres, as unless you're at a contest with trade stands, there's not very much opportunity for the serendipity of browsing - you have to try and decide from a catalogue or the internet. I generally either buy cds with pieces of music on that I've played and want a recording of, or have heard at a concert, which often involves buying things from the back catalogue rather than recent releases. Generally this is quite good as if I choose something for one particular track then I get introduced to loads more stuff. I don't think I've ever bought a cd where I didn't know at least one piece (with the possible exception of the Regionals series...).

    What do other people do??
  2. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    In general, my purchases will be guided primarily by the programme of music, although there are certain cases where the performers will also be a major factor. If it is a recording that has been around for a while I like to read any reviews that may have been done, although a bad review per se would not necessarily put me off - another person's likes or dislikes may not match with my own, but hopefully any comments made will be useful.

    Another factor will be the running time: to splash out on a cd with a running time of less than an hour there would have to be something special about the recording. Although familiar pieces are good to hear again, I am personally more likely to be attracted by something new or which has not been recorded so often.
  3. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    This is naturally a matter of individual taste.
    I tend to buy most live CD's/DVD's - that is europeans, nationals, brass in concerts etc. depending on the mood of she that must be obeyed.

    I would generally never buy CD's that are clearly made to promote music publishers. Even if they are produced with name bands I have never yet heard anything worth buying. Same goes for Essentially Dyke, Grimethorpe Legends and other such compilations. (I don't practise what I preach though - I buy all Dyke's output :tongue: )

    I love to hear new bands or previously unrecorded bands - they don't have to sound like Dyke, but they have to bring some new material to be worth spending my hard earned money. I don't know why so many bands choose such bad repertoire for their CDs???
    Why would I want to spend 11 pounds or more on a christmas CD with some average band if I could find 90 % of the tracks on a Dyke or Grimethorpe CD. I would be happy to pay that, if most of the material was new or least have not been recorded a dozen times in the past - do we really need more recordings of Christmas Song???

    I also use ebay extensively to get bargains. The brass music output there is increasing rapidly. You can also try the bargain basement at World of Brass online. They have a lot of great offers from their back catalogue (which they are also selling on ebay now)

    Contrary to pop music you don't have many chances to hear the band music on the radio before you buy it (do try Listen to the Band though) - so you only have your knowledge of the band or soloist and possibly online reviews to go by. The quantity of brass releases have exploded with the falling costs of producing a CD but the quality has not necesarily followed suit. There is a lot of rubbish out there but suffient gems to satisfy both the anoraks and the cheese-lovers.
  4. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Whatever is going cheap on!
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I go for quality first ... best performances of works I can get my hands on. I also like to obtain recordings of new compositions recorded in the studio ahead of arrangements and live performances.
  6. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    I generally buy a CD for one particular track then I listen to the whole CD and enjoy the rest of it for the most part
  7. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    But how do you know which is the best? Unless you already own several different versions of the work already (including the one you are buying)? :confused:
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - depends on what is recorded at a particular time and who it is by. I usually end up having most or all of the recordings eventually. I have used this system for other genres such as fusion (jazz-rock/funk and jazz). You have to know the session musicians' capabilities in these situations and get reliable information from friends involved in that type of music. Years of experience and thousands of pounds has went into my collection to fine tune what I think is good, indifferent or something I just don't like. I basically listen to music all the time at home (... at the moment, a re-release of the 1974 Billy Cobham album Shabazz, which actually is a live album). And yes, I have all his '70s albums on LP or CD including many others. Great playing as it should be with the class of musicians on tour with him.

    the band ...

    Alex Blake - Bass
    Billy Cobham - Drums, Main Performer, Percussion, Producer
    Glen Ferris - Trombone
    John Abercrombie - Guitar
    John Scofield - Guitar
    Michael Brecker - Saxophone
    Milcho Leviev - Keyboards
    Randy Brecker - Trumpet
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2006
  9. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I am mostly likely to buy CDs with a great deal of new music (especially those that are major works) just to still get familiar with the brass band literature. For example, three of my favourite sources are the Euro Champs CDs, Brass in Concert CDs and RNCM (or is it Bridgewater?) Festival CDs.

    Being a bit isolated in the States it is the best way to get to know the repetoire.
  10. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    I tend not to listen to much BB, think I may have 3 CDs and some old vinyl. I prefer listening to Orchestral brass. Got lots of Canadian Brass/Empire Brass/London Brass/German Brass etc etc etc. I just prefer it. As for how I pick wheat I buy.....whatever's going for a reasonable price on ebay!
  11. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    My wife doesn't think I choose at all; she's convinced I buy 'em all. Because it's a relatively expensive hobby I have to be somewhat selective.

    I tend to buy most of the releases by a core group of bands, such as Dyke, Grimethorpe, YBS, ISB etc.

    I love the European Contest CD's and have them all, plus a few on vinyl. That meant I could skip the Kings of Europe compilation; not that I didn't want it.

    Outside that group, it's whatever attracts my attention (eg: Spitfire by Rothwell).

    I've got an extremely large collection (1500 plus), comprised mainly of brass band, but also including orchestra, brass ensemble, jazz, big band etc.

    I'm now adding DVD's too!

    I've been a serious collector for over 45 years. Bottom line is there's never enough money and space is becoming a challenge too ;)
  12. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I tend to only buy CDs with original/longer pieces on them - I'm not much of a cheese fan. I'm also a sucker for a big name band; Dyke, BAYV, YBS, etc. The exception would be things like the Euro or Norwegian Champs CDs, especially if they've got the only available recording of a new piece. I'm also pretty keen "single composer" recordings, like the Doyen Gregson CDs, the Vinter recordings, Desford's Robert Simpson disc, etc.

    I'd agree with Euphoria about repetitive repertoire; I don't care how good the band or the piece is, I really don't need another recording of Procession to the Minster or Born Free.
  13. Veri

    Veri Member

    Thanks everyone - it's interesting to read your replies. I think I'll have to have a look on (I'd never thought of lookng there) and at Ebay again, and see if I can get some bargains! I love the idea of buying everything that Black Dyke puts out, and all of the contest cds...but, I just don't have the space or money. I should be a bit more adventurous as it's often worth it - I recently bought "Legend in brass" (Sellars Engineering I think) for the Kingdom Triumphant, and the rest of the cd is a cracker, full of stuff I'd never heard before.
  14. persins

    persins Member

    The last one I bought was because I was told to!!
    It was the Christmas Carols one by National Youth Band of Wales!
    I don't generally buy many Brass band cds but will often have a look round the trade stands at contests. If a certain piece on the programme catches my eye, I would buy it though.
    I tend to look for test pieces I have played or am due to play in the future.
  15. tinytimp

    tinytimp Member

    I don't tend to buy many brass band cd's as a rule. When I do, I'll normally look for pieces that I've played or heard in concert - so then I know there'll be something I know and like and I get surprised/educated by any other tracks on the CD!
  16. Bob Thompson

    Bob Thompson Member

    Into |Africa

    Well Brassneck, you will love the new Brass Band Aid CD,Into Africa, 90% brand new plus a couple of new arrangements! Most of which has not been performed in public yet.
    you know it maks sense
    ps, thats if you dont have it already of course
  17. premacyblue

    premacyblue Member

    I don't buy any Brass Band Music anymore. I hate listening to it as it never sounds as good as a live concert even through my latest surround sound system. Most bands sound like they are playing miles away from the recording devices. Couldn't new technology put a microphone on every instrument and then balance the mix properly.