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CHAN 4554
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CHAN 4554
On the Town

Center City Brass Quintet: On the Town

The Classical Shop
release date: May 2000

Originally recorded in 1999


Center City Brass Quintet


The Sanctuary of the First Baptist Church, Cleveland Heights, Ohio


Michael Schulze

Charles Kenny Dixon


James Darling



Michael Schulze

Charles Kenny Dixon


Record Label
Chandos Brass



Total Time - 66:18
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On the Town



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  arr. Anthony Di Lorenzo  

Suite from 'On the Town'

1 New York, New York 4:24
2 So Long, Baby 1:28
3 I Wish I Was Dead 1:30
4 I Can Cook Too 1:55
5 Subway Ride and Imaginary Coney Island 3:34
6 Ya Got Me 2:31
  arr. Jack Gale  

Suite from 'West Side Story'

7 Prologue 2:27
8 Something's Coming 2:22
9 Maria 2:50
10 Tonight 1:57
11 America 2:01
12 One Hand, One Heart 2:03
13 I Feel Pretty 1:34
14 Somewhere 2:39


  arr. Jack Gale  

Suite from 'Porgy and Bess'

15 Overture - Catfish Row 2:22
16 Summertime 2:38
17 A Woman is a Sometime Thing 1:32
18 My Man's Gone Now 3:21
19 I Got Plenty O' Nuttin' 1:18
20 Bess, You is My Woman Now 3:47
21 In ain't Necessarily So 2:22
22 There's a Boat that's Leavin' Soon for New York 2:22
23 O Lawd I' on My Way 1:21


  arr. Robert Elkjer  



Chelsea Bridge

  (melody by Billy Strayhorn)  
26 Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me 4:16
The Center City Brass Quintet performs a sparkling selection of music from some of America’s most well-known composers.

The arrangements of the works featured on the disc are all premiere recordings.

Renowned for its high energy and finely polished style, the Center City Brass Quintet is quickly becoming known for setting new standards of artistry on brass instruments. The members of the Quintet are regarded as five of the finest brass players of their generation.

The ‘On The Town’ suite begins with a dissonant, flutter-tongued fortissimo chord, followed by a hectic passage that seems to say it all about an average day on the streets of New York. In the same movement there is also a ‘homesick’ interlude, rather like the one in Gershwin’s ‘An American in Paris’. Later movements explore other moods: a jitterbug dance, a trombone blues full of wry humour and a Broadway-belting showstopper, in which each of the instruments take a turn as the star performer. After the classic ‘lonely trumpet’ number, the suite finishes up-tempo with a samba rhythm number.

Bernstein made much of the urban blare of brass in his original score to ‘West Side Story’, which conveyed the youthful vitality and menace that underlies the drama. But brass can also have a hymn-like glow and numbers such as ‘Maria’ and ‘One Hand, One Heart’ draw on that for spiritual nourishment.

Jack Gale’s ‘Porgy and Bess’ suite has more of a ‘stand up and sing it’ character that his ‘West Side Story’ suite, reflecting the difference in style between Gershwin’s grand opera and Bernstein’s turbulent drama. The many colours of brass sound suggest the mood and characters of the opera: the passionate lament of ‘My Man’s Gone now’ contrasts with the insinuating trumpet (with cup mute) of ‘It ain’t necessarily so’ for example.

Duke Ellington was an inescapable force in American music. ‘Caravan’ is built around a contradiction: a dark, smokey main strain with an Arabic flavour, alternates with a sunny, major-key bridge passage. ‘Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me’ ranges from manicured urbanity to a bright, almost New Orleans-style swing. Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Chelsea Bridge’, with its sliding ninths is Strayhorn at his most pensive.

'The performances are mellifuous and alive. Here is brass playing of glowing sensitivity.'
Cleveland Plain Dealer

'From start to finish, we hear only total precision, excellent tone, plenty of fire and stylistic contrast, and superb intonation and balance.'
American Record Guide

‘All are played with complete authority by one of the strongest of today’s brass quintets’.
American Record Guide

'…chamber brass at its best.'
International Trumpet Guild Journal

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