RSA Brass/Wallace - Jazzi Metal

Dave Payn

Active Member
New from the Deux-Elles label comes an album from the Royal Scottish Academy Brass under the leadership of John Wallace. Despite the name of the group, this isn't an ensemble made up of RSAMD students, but comprising of senior members of the brass teaching staff.

Mainly operating as quintet, (occasionally a sextet and quartet) the programme consists of contemporary music from either Portuguese composers or in the case of Christopher Bochmann, an English composer long resident in Portugal. He also was a composition teacher for most of the composers represented on this disc. (Composers represented: Luis Tinoco, Nuno Corte-Real, Carlos Azevedo, Christopher Bochmann, Joao Madureira and Antonio Pinho Vargas - all, I confess, apart from Corte Real, previously unfamiliar names to me)

John Wallace, doubtless the inspiration behind this recording given the two excellent contemporary CDs his now defunct Wallace Collection produced for the Linn label (The Golden Section and Hammered Brass), has contributed to yet another innovative, excellenty recorded and played recording of contemporary brass music. His previous outing with the Deux-Elles label was (I believe) the last recording the Wallace Collection made; Baltic Brass, containing music by Sibelius and Victor Ewald performed on original instruments and again, a fabulous recording in its own right.

You've probably guessed that given the description of the music listed thus far, this isn't what some people might describe as 'accessible' fare, but it's none the worse for that. In particular the work which gives this CD its title - Jazzi Metal by jazz musician, conductor and pianist Carlos Azevedo - is for this listener, the highlight amongst highlights! bringing together the 'two elements of Azevedo's music, jazz and contemporary concert work'.

Playing, ensemble, and recording is of the highest quality throughout. Aficionados of contemporary brass music should, in my humble (and limited - given the type of music) opinion, snaffle this up without a second thought. Others who are either wary of modern brass sounds, or of an open mind but not aficionados (like me!) should also take the plunge. A thoroughly enjoyable disc.

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