Freeh Spirit Brett Baker (Trombone) with Reg Vardy Band conducted by Ray Farr – Reviewed by David Lea for The Trombonist Magazine April 2013


In line with many other brass musicians, I have always been an admirer of the arrangements of Mark Freeh and when asked to review this CD, which is devoted solely to Mark`s arrangements, I eagerly awaited its arrival.

From the very first track, ”All The things You Are”, an arrangement of the 1939 Jerome Kern hit, what is immediately obvious is the high quality solo playing setting the standard for the rest of the CD which features mainly big band music.

The mood is well captured in the relaxed slower numbers of “Moonlight in Vermont” and “Dreamsville” in an easy relaxed “Lusher” style.

These are contrasted with the up tempo number,“ The Green Bee” and the classic solos of  Arthur Pryor`s “Air Varie”  and Frederick Innes` ” Phenomenal Polka” clearly demonstrating the soloist`s  exceptional skill and dexterity.

The well known “Stardust” and “Someone to Watch over Me” are given a slightly different treatments but are as equally enjoyable.

The final track “Danza Allegre” reminds the listener of Brett`s outstanding ability and his contribution to the world of solo trombone playing.

The Reg Vardy Band should be congratulated in doing a superb accompanying

Job, just being in focus with the soloist at all times.

For style, technique and range, this disc will demonstrate what can be achieved by any aspiring trombonist.

With excellent programme notes, I recommend this CD as an enjoyable addition to your collection by one of the brass movement`s greatest ambassadors.

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