22 May The Bedazzling Boston Brass
HELPING to bring in the Christmas season, the Charleston Concert Association presented Tuesday evening December 12 the Boston Brass and the Brass All-Stars Big Band in a rollicking concert “Christmas Bells Are Swingin’!” to an enthusiastic audience at Gaillard Auditorium. The Boston Brass is made up of five players from all over the map. The Brass All-Stars comprise ten more brass and percussion players (including one young lady from Mt. Pleasant who is a natural-born trumpeter). Using arrangements from Stan Kenton to those of the performers, serious and humorous Christmas carol re-writes tickled the fancy of the Gaillard assembly who gladly and enthusiastically participated in several of the items on the program.
To say the performers are spectacular and technical musical wizards is an understatement. Whether solo, combos or all 15 players at once, the effect was dizzying and dazzling. Incorporating jazz, ragtime, Latin, and pop styles, the musicians (all professional and some who are professors and composers) left nothing more to be desired. Many of these musicians play with top orchestras, have made numerous recordings as back-up to well-known pop and jazz singers and recorded the Boston Brass’ own compact discs. Their delightful repartee with the audience and their home-spun sense of humor delivered by several of the players added immeasurably to the spirit of the entertaining evening.
After you would think they were all out of breath, they performed a single encore, “Jingle Bells” in a Motown version that capped an exceptional evening of top-flight music-making. For 25 years, the Boston Brass has entertained and educated around the world. With television broadcasts and commissions, they have made a significant place for themselves. The Charleston Concert Association is to be commended for bringing them to Charleston at this Christmas time.
— William Furtwangler, Charleston Today