“Military justice is to justice what military music is to music“, so said Groucho Marx. It does indeed require a stoic constitution to withstand the brutal monotony of military march music but clearly there are those who have it or records like these would never have been made. Although I’m guessing this one sold a few more because it chose not to feature a burly mustachioed drummer on the cover.
John Philip Sousa was born on November 6th, 1854, the son of Antonio So. By adding the letters USA to his father’s name he arrived at his own patriotic identity.
His father was a Spanish trombonist in the US Marines Bond, which Sousa joined in 1868 at the age of 14. Under Sousa’s influence the military band completely changed its character. By reducing the number of brass instruments and increasing the woodwind he created on ensemble which was capable of subtleties and nuances previously unknown outside the concert hall. He achieved his greatest fame as the composer of such rousing and satisfying marches as ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’, High School Cadets’ ‘Liberty Bell’, Semper Fidelis’, etc., ten of which are included on this resplendent disc.
Label: MFP 2147
Photographs: Photo Media Ltd/Terry Beard
Sleeve Design: Terry Beard