Brett Baker is currently the most recorded trombone soloist in the brass band movement, having been featured on more than 40 CDs, including this his 10th solo recording since 1996. This new release from polyphonic is subtitled volime 1; so there’s more yet to come! Fenella Haworth-Smiths piano accompaniments complement and match Brett’s artistry magnificantly. The tonal clarity and depth of both trombnone and piano is allied to secure technique, instinctive musical integrity and improessive stylistic variations and dynamic subtleties.
The programme avoids brass band showpieces in favour of a well-chosen recital, ranging from staples of Associated Board listed works, souch as Four Sketches (Cliff), Divertimento (Gregson) and Sonatina (Serocki) and other favourites like Piece in Eb Minor (Ropartz), the emotionally charged Chaconne (Ellerby) and the intense finale, Sonata vox Garieli (Sulek) balanced by the ever-popular Czardas (Monti) and a sensitive arrangement by Wilfred Heaton of the beautiful melody Sweet hour of Prayer.
The composers of two of the 14 pieces Eric Banks and Rob Wiffin, coincidentally each began their playing career in the Salvation Army and utimately became principal directors of music in the Royal Air Force. Ballade for Trombone (Banks) is gentle and played with feeling, while Shout! is a brand new bright jazzy piece, which is surely destined to become an audeince favourite.