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Dave Payn
10.11.2003, 17:07
In an effort to make myself a bit clearer, I've re-written my message. Please delete the first one. Ta.

PJBE for me. All the others have taken playing standards technically, but for me, the PJBE had a distinctive sound, Philip Jones, knew how to make however many players at his disposal (but particularly the quintet of himself, Elgar Howarth, Ifor James, John Iveson and John Fletcher) sound like one homogenous unit that I have not heard since in a brass ensemble. The re-issues of their recordings over the years only serves to confirm this for me. All the other 'candidates' I've listed, however, are/were well worth listening to. I've obviously named a few ensembles here, but of course, it's not definitive. Do you have another brass ensemble you particularly like?

I've listed quite a few. Of the 'brass band' variety, both JSVB and Howard Snell Brass were top ensembles (The opening movement of HSB's opening track on their first ever CD - an arrangement of Les Soirees Musicales, still has that 'wow' factor for me

JessopSmythe
10.11.2003, 19:24
What about the the best of the best? Fine Arts Brass?

neiltwist
10.11.2003, 19:49
have to agree, the fine arts brass ensemble are good, but not as good as PJBE in my opinion, unfortunately, due to the fact that they are a quintet, the great gate at kiev sounds more like the miniture gate at (insert small village here)! the playing is superb, but more instruments are needed (PJBE used a ten piece I think, maybe more).

horn1
10.11.2003, 20:02
Based purely on the fact that I've heard canadian brass and none of the others! (I know the shame!! :oops: ) Canadian Brass were magnificent and very entertaining, at the time I'd never heard anything quite like it!

Aidan
10.11.2003, 23:53
definately canadian brass for me.. heard of.. and heard! all of em :P
canadian are DEFINATELY the most entertaining as all of the ensembles play to the same professional standard.. but can brass take it one step further infusing their performances (all from memory) with comedy, in their own distinctive style :) brilliant.

Darth_Tuba
10.11.2003, 23:58
I don't see Brassneck in the options Aidan!!! :shock: It's obvious to me they are the greatest! :wink:

Mike Saville
11.11.2003, 00:27
PJBE.

MoominDave
11.11.2003, 01:07
(PJBE used a ten piece I think, maybe more).

The Elgar Howarth arrangement is for a 16-piece.

Dave

Straightmute
11.11.2003, 01:48
Canadian Brass have a fantastic sound and stage presence but the best quintet I ever heard was in the early days of PJBE when the line up was as Dave Payn descibed: Howarth, Jones, James, Iveson and the immortal Fletch. Not necessarily the best technicians but oozing musicianship from every pore. I spent a week with them at a summer school at Lancaster University and it was a truly life-changing experience.

D

Big Fella
11.11.2003, 08:37
Has to be PJBE !!!!!!

Nicola, give us a call, I will lend you a PJBE CD's..

Mike Saville
11.11.2003, 11:06
Below is a link to the PJBE Greatest hits album for those that are uninitiated:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000056PRA/qid=1068545150/sr=1-42/ref=sr_1_2_42/202-3163032-5287863

Aidan
11.11.2003, 11:23
I don't see Brassneck in the options Aidan!!! :shock: It's obvious to me they are the greatest! :wink:
Good point!!! :!:
someone fix this please :)

PeterBale
11.11.2003, 11:33
One of the best live brass chamber concerts I have attended was given by the Albany Brass Ensembel (later to become the English Brass Ensemble to avoid confusion with a similarly-named wind quintet).

Paul Archibald and Richard Martin were the trumpets, with James Gourlay on tuba, but I can't recall off-hand who the horn and trombone were. The piccolo-trumpet playing was phenomenal, as was the breadth of sound.

As for recordings, amongst my favourites are the LSO brass cd of American music, including West Side Story, and the Wallace Collection's Mussorgsky/Khachaturian disc.

I was fortunate to hear Canadian Brass at Regent Hall a couple of years ago and I would agree they were extremely entertaining, but I should have liked to have heard a little more serious repertoire. In that respect, PJBE were at a different level.

Seedhouse
11.11.2003, 11:34
I also think that the British Tuba Quartet and other tuba quartet's deserve to be in this thread! :lol:

British Tuba Quartet get my vote, they're very entertaining.

But James Sheperds Versatile Brass get my vote because BTQ aren't on the list.

big_benthomson
11.11.2003, 13:16
me also thinks that BrassNeck quintet should be included in the line-up. we have a huge repetoire ( :? ), quality players ( :? again) and a top website ( :? x3)
haha

TheMusicMan
11.11.2003, 13:36
... and a top website ( :? x3)
haha

... and a fab picture at top left of www site as well folks... cracker!

big_benthomson
11.11.2003, 13:47
ha! palmer, he's one of those trumpet loving people, he's got quite an insurance related relationship with his instuments of pleasure

Dave Payn
11.11.2003, 14:19
One of the best live brass chamber concerts I have attended was given by the Albany Brass Ensembel (later to become the English Brass Ensemble to avoid confusion with a similarly-named wind quintet).

Paul Archibald and Richard Martin were the trumpets, with James Gourlay on tuba, but I can't recall off-hand who the horn and trombone were. The piccolo-trumpet playing was phenomenal, as was the breadth of sound.


The horn and trombone would probably have been James Handy and David Whitson but I wouldn't swear to it.

As I said, I'm sure that other ensembles would qualify, like the BTQ mentioned elsewhere. That's why IMHO these 'who's your favourite' polls are useful, not to decide who is actually the best (as that point is still subjective at the end of what is after all, a poll) but maybe in someone, somewhere unearthing a gem of information that others may not have known about before. I haven't heard the BTQ for instance (I have heard OF them, though) so I may well avail myself of any recordings that might still be available, etc. That's why I like this particular forum so much! :wink:

Cornet Cat
12.11.2003, 00:16
How about German Brass?

PeterBale
12.11.2003, 09:49
The horn and trombone would probably have been James Handy and David Whitson but I wouldn't swear to it.

Right first time, Dave. I checked my programmes last night, although I also realised that the first time I heard them Graham Ashton was playing trumpet, not Richard Martin.

On the subject of other brass groups, one of my favourite recordings in a lighter vein (I fished it out last night and it's playing at the moment) is "Brassomania", by Blechschaden (a ten-piece group plus percussion formed from members of the Munich Philharmonic under Bob Ross). They play a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar items in first rate arrangements and communicate their enthusiasm through the music very effectively.

Accidental
13.11.2003, 19:26
PJBE for sheer class
JSVB for fun and building repertoire

and now for something completely different....
The Brazz Brothers 8)

Moy
13.11.2003, 20:00
Canadian Brass were the best but not too sure about the line-up just now.
Heard them a few years back at Salford and they were brilliant.
Nothing could touch them then. Technically and even more musically.

big_benthomson
14.11.2003, 15:58
i've got the Canadian Brass 'Red Hot Jazz' cd and its ace. they do quality arrangements for themselves too

Aidan
14.11.2003, 16:56
so do we ;) *ahem*

MartinT
14.11.2003, 17:24
I have a CD by an outfit calling themselves "Make Believe Brass". It includes a rather nice rendition of (bits of) the 1812 Overture, with the tuba doing the cannon bit . (Thinks: is this the origin of the term "bombardon"?)

I'll vote for them :-)

spanishflee
19.11.2003, 17:52
:roll: who are JSBE in comparison to ensembles like PJBE the walace collecion , Boston brass , Spanish Brass and Empire Brass these groups are millions of miles ahead of anything the banding world could directly offer. (I am well aware that some outsatnding players have come from the uks banding heretage) I really do feel that the list really should be up there with PJBE eg , Epire Brass and Boston Brass . So who are JSBE?

Dave Payn
19.11.2003, 18:22
James Shpeherd Verstaile Brass was exactly that, versatile, both in their repertoire and instrumentation (they used trumpets as well as cornets). Not perhaps the most technically gifted in comparison to say, Boston Brass or even PJBE but they were, nevertheless, a superb group and not afraid to try something new. The Doyen compilation of their recordings is well worth getting.

ian perks
30.09.2004, 15:42
The Old JIM SHEPERD VERSATILE BRASS is the one for me:p

fitzy
30.09.2004, 15:58
Anyone heard any German Brass? Their playing is amazing! The "Bach" albums they recorded are out of this world. I have never heard brass ensemble playing like it. PJBE may have started it all but German Brass have run with it.

Lil Miss
30.09.2004, 16:00
hey dave, looks who's on ^ ;) hehehehehehehehe

oh no....don't tell fitzy what i said , dav.............:-D

Red Elvis
01.10.2004, 01:03
Could be wrong , but think it was PJBE that collaborated with Pink Floyd on "Atom Heart Mother" - a concept album if ever there was one but well worth a listen - even better when under the influence of certain substances!!

lynchie
01.10.2004, 01:09
well since none of the "awesome" ensembles I've played with are on there, I'll go for PJBE because I still love their Carnival of the Animals...

Lil Miss
01.10.2004, 06:34
They all sound like great ensembles, but i haven't heard any of them, looks like i'll hav to go start buyin more cd's.............