MP3 Steven Mead and Spanish Brass Luur Metalls - Brass and Wines
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14 MP3 Songs in this album (64:05) !
Related styles: Classical: Brass quintet, Classical: Band Music, Solo Instrumental
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Steven Mead continues to pack his musical rucksack to explore new and exciting horizons.
This time he has headed to the Iberian Peninsula and teamed up with the exotic talents of Spanish Brass Luur Metalls, a quintet of immensely impressive musicians with a 20 year reputation based on innovation and dynamic musicality.
The result is a heady mix of colourful, intelligent performances of a wide variety of repertoire, some of which certainly have a very Latinesque flavour.
Put together like dishes from Ferran Adriàâs âEl Bulliâ restaurant, the constituent parts are moulded with formidable technical precision, yet the end products are ultimately revealed as so mouth wateringly satisfying too.
As the leading voice, Steven Mead is on rare form, displaying on intuitive ear for balance and texture, complimenting the other performers contributions with a generosity that allows the spotlight time to illuminate their excellence without ever losing its primary focus.
The quintet of Juanjo Serna Salvador and Carlos Beneto Grau on tumpet, Manuel Perez Ortega on horn, trombonist Inda Bonet Manrique and tuba player Sertgio Finca Quiros are exceptional performers in their own right, but with close on 20 years experience of playing together it is as a cohesive unit that they display their musicianship to the full.
Detailed, razor sharp technique and warmly balanced timbres are lovingly allied to elegant phrasing as they pass motifs and solo lines amongst each other like old Spanish grandmothers exchanging snippets of village gossip. It allows Steven Mead to dip in and out of at times, complex accompanying dialogue, knowing full well that he will never be overwhelmed. The sense of respect for each others abilities is plain for all to hear.
The title track is an expertly distilled example. Skilfully developed from a small germ of a melodic idea, Jose Rafael Pascual-Vilaplanaâs work is a delightful triptych of elegant craftsmanship that is as tasteful as a classic Rioja wine.
So too the other works from the home-grown vineyard in Juan J. Colomerâs subtle âLisonjas de la Alcahuetaâ and Xavier Montsalvatgeâs âCancion de cuna papra dormir a un negritoâ a delicate, suggestive piece of tenderness and atmosphere.
In contrast there is the dislocated modernist âKaliedoscopic Overdriveâ by Ben McMillan â not quite in the Bachmann, Turner classic âoverdriveâ mould for certain, but a piece of enjoyable angularity.
Another surprising tangent is offered by âInnuendoâ, which although it doesnât quite capture the camp bombast of the Queen original (not even a football stadium full of Judy Garland fans could do that) it nevertheless still has something about it to keep a whole army of leather trouser moustachioed exhibitionists happy between Bacardi cocktails.
Those whose jib is cut from a totally different musical cloth will certainly enjoy Steven Meadâs tasteful treatment of Telemannâs âConcerto for Oboeâ, as well as his whimsical surefootedness of the âBravura Variations on a Theme by Mozartâ, which really does twinkle with stardust quality.
That just leaves the bonus of Peter Meechanâs chameleon like âElegieâ, a piece of richly textured melancholy that wanders with a deep seated intelligence of almost Leonard Cohen morbidity.
As always with Steven Mead a new direction has been found to be one of rich possibilities expertly realised to their full potential. Backed by excellent post production values (from the Damien Hirst inspired polka dot cover to the excellent sleeve notes and crystal clear recording ambience) this is a recording to raise a full glass of the best Rioja Crianza to.
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