The instruments of the brass choir, by their nature, seem predetermined for use in brilliant, flaring music. Largely developed for use on occasions of military or high festive significance, they have to some extent carried that usage through to the present, and are most often heard when the music lends itself to (or requires) a bright, edgy tone. That this is a patent misuse of a versatile group of instruments has been demonstrated again and again, as musicians keep hacking away at the idea. The enormously subtle and vigorous variations of Bix Beiderbecke on the cornet, the cool, fluid trombone of Tommy Dorsey and the velvety trumpet of Harry James have whittled no little chunks away from the feeling that brass must be brassy, and in this collection the inventive James trumpet is heard in a further exploration.
Label: Columbia CL 581