The World of the Trombone Volume 3 Brett Baker (Trombone) with Fenella Haworth-Head for the ITA Journal Feb 2014

The World of the Trombone Volume 3

BRETT BAKER, TROMBONE, Fenella Haworth-Head, piano.

Polyphonic Reproductions QPRZ 028D

For the third volume of his WORLD OF THE TROMBONE series, Brett Baker chose a diverse program of music composed from the medieval period through the present century. Baker achieves a balanced program of original works, arrangements and new commissions that illustrates the diversity of the trombone.

Bakers beautiful, singing sound is heard throughout the album. Meditation by Massenet, and Romance by Weber both perfectly illustrate his beautiful sound. Phenomenal Polka and La Valse Moderne showcase Baker’s mastery of the band solo style of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In these two pieces amazing technique is the centrepiece. For the Concerto by Wagenseil and the Danse La Cleve Baker performs on a B-flat tenor Baroque trombone by Rath. The reproduction instrument suits these pieces well and Baker plays brilliantly.

The arrangement of Londonderry Air by Bill Geldard is a pleasant surprise. This often overdone piece is given a fresh approach here and is masterfully performed by Baker. The nature of the piece remains, but is infused with tasteful jazz ballad styling. Dick Turpins Ride to York and Faith Encounter, both written for Baker, are wonderful examples of new writing for trombone. Both pieces display the full range of Baker’s playing, from precise and flashy to lyrical and expressive. Faith Encounter, originally for performance with brass band, is masterfully adopted for performance with piano and is the ideal conclusion to the album.

This album represents a diverse range of compositions for the trombone, the superb balancing of the selections keeps the listener interested at all times. The piano performance by Fenella Haworth-Head is superb and adds to the overall artistry. The variety alone on this album makes it valuable to any trombonist’s library, but the marvellous playing by Brett Baker ensures that it will be listened to repeatedly.


Andrew Converse

Pikes Peak College

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