Meditation CD Review – John Maines for the Bandsman 2003


 Accompanied by fenella Hawarth-Smith: Piano, Gary McPhee: Tenor Trombone, Adrian Hirst: Bass Trombone.  Released 2003.

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A master class in the art of trombone playing with this latest release by Black Dyke's Brett Baker. Supported on by piano by Fenella Hawarth-Smith, Brett is in fine form with music geared to the classical ear. Any would-be trombonists who want to know how it is done should invest in this recording. His trombone colleagues from Black Dyke (Adrian Hirst and Gary McPhee) accompany Brett in three items that are delightful on the ear.

If you have enjoyed Metamorphosis from euphonium star, David Childs, this is a disc you will enjoy. Different instruments, but a demonstration of first rate playing with no band in site.


John Maines, The British Bandsman, Saturday 29 November 2003:

In August 2003, Brett recorded this, his first solo album with piano on the Amadeus label to mark his 20th anniversary of playing trombone and his 30th birthday.

It includes works such as Deux Danses by Defaye, Fantasy by Stojowski and Hommage á Bach by Eugene Bozza, but it's mainly a CD of tranquil, slow melodies – hence the title, Meditation. Melodies such as Vocalise by Rachmaninov, Mendelssohn's On Wings of Song and Erik Leidzén's arrangement of Liebesleid (Loves Sorrow) by Fritz Kreisler are all played with the musicianship and expressive qualities that are hallmarks of Brett's playing. Also included are three trombone trios, for which Brett is joined by the other two thirds of Black Dyke's trombone section, Gary McPhee and Adrian Hirst, namely the title track Meditation by Edward Watson, Bruckner's Zwei Aequale and Two Pieces for Three Trombones by Raymond Premru.

The excellent piano accompaniments are played by Fenella Haworth-Smith and the first class production and engineering of the CD by Keith Farrington and Richard Scott, along with the comprehensive programme notes by Brett himself, add up to a good value package of quality music making.

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