Slide Projections Brett Baker & Maidstone Wind Symphony review by James T Decker for the ITA Journal Aug 2013

Trombonist Brett Baker continues to lead an active performing and recording career as soloist and ensemble player. This recently-produced CD Slide Projections contains a nice variety of selections that could each serve as the cornerstone of a challenging solo recital. President of the British Trombone Society and perennial feature soloist, Brett Baker's core mission clearly is to commission or to facilitate composition of exciting, accessible new solo works for trombone. The CD features the second of two pieces written by composer Rob Wiffin for Baker, his Concerto for Trombone. The concerto, written in 2010, brings forth the declamatory lyrical and flashy characters of Baker's musical palette. The language is romantic in nature and the compositional form is clear and accessible. Especially noteworthy about this recording is Baker's wide tonal range, always demonstrating a solid core sound, and his multi-phonics with pedal notes. Also featured on the reocrding are the Philip Sparke Trombone Concerto, and the Jan Van der Roost Canterbury Chorale. 

Baker performs this diverse repertoire with great fluidity, energy, and precision. Noteworthy examples permeate this recording, including his performance of the De Meij T-Bone Concerto. The De Meij Showcases Baker's lyricism, flexibility, and projection of sound. His tonal consistency soars over the full sound of the Maidstone Wind Symphony.

The Maidstone Wind Symphony is one of Kent and the UK's finest wind orchestras. The group's performance on this recording is precise, sensitive, and colourful, serving as adelightful compliment to Baker's artistry.

Every piece on this recording was written within the past 30 years. The continual rise in tehncial and musical artisitry, as demonstrated by such artists as Brett Baker, is encouraging composers to write more substancial works for our instrument. Thanks to brett Baker and the Maidstone Wind Symphony for producing this fine CD of great newer works for the trombone. 

James A Decker ITA Journal

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