The Canadian Brass Allstars
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This is an odd if mostly intriguing set by the Canadian Brass, which is comprised of two trumpets, trombone, French horn, and tuba. On most of the selections, they are joined by a full band that includes keyboardist Warren Bernhardt, guitarist Gene Bertoncini, up to 11 additional horns (arranged by Don Sebesky), and even occasionally six-strings. The inventive arrangements make such songs as "Blue Rondo a la Turk," "Indiana," "At the Woodchopper's Ball," and "One O'Clock Jump" quite colorful and full of surprises. It is particularly odd that there are three selections that have the Canadian Brass adding their parts to historic recordings: Zoot Sims in 1950 playing "Night and Day," the 1954 Gerry Mulligan Quartet on "The Lady Is a Tramp," and Roy Eldridge in 1950 jamming "The Man I Love." The Canadian Brass' harmonized parts somehow blend right in with the earlier recordings, accentuating the playing of the main soloists. All in all, this is a fascinating release, one of the best by the good-humored ensemble.