Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Allen Vizzutti and Jeff Tyzik - High Class Brass (1990)

Throughout the latter years of the 20th century and continuing to today, symphony orchestras have had to increasingly depend on pops concerts to help pay the bills and fund classical concerts.  So these two respected trumpet players came up with the unique idea of creating a group and writing music specifically for that pops audience. A unique concept for the time and, unfortunately, one that didn't really catch on.  Of the 8 pieces presented here, 4 are original pseudo-classical works, two are jazz standards, and two are adapted orchestral pieces by Gabriel Fauré and Joaquín Rodrigo. In other words, a setlist custom made for a pops concert.  The arrangements remind me a lot of those from Chuck Mangione's Live at the Hollywood Bowl album, but that's understandable as Tyzik was the arranger/lead trumpet for that album.  It's quality stuff, but for an admittedly small audience.  Nonetheless, I'm glad they made the effort.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks:  Of the original pieces, I like the High Class Brass Suite (particularly the second movement) and the simply titled Overture (why this wasn't the lead track on the CD is a sequencing mystery).  I also enjoy the lush arrangement of Ellington's Sophisticated Lady.  My least favorite track is the lackluster arrangement of Rodrigo's Concierto De Aranjuez.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  My parents heard Vizzutti and Tyzik perform these songs at a pops concert by the San Antonio Symphony in 1990 and thoughtfully bought me a copy of the CD as they were leaving the show.  My parents were faithful supporters of the SA Symphony for many years.

Al Vizzutti came and played with the local university jazz band on April 25, 2013 (first-rate, entertaining performance, btw).  I had the pleasure of meeting and sharing a few meals with him.  Even though I'd had this CD in my collection for over 20 years, I just couldn't resist getting it off the shelves for an autograph.

1 comment:

  1. I also attended the High Class Brass performance in 1990!!! I had returned to San Antonio for a short break from Harvard when I heard a clip from this CD on the radio. The music was vibrant and exciting and featured the technical virtuosity of not one but two trumpet players. The performance was at the Majestic Theatre and I just had to be there. I had the honor of meeting and speaking to both Vizzutti and Tyzik after their performance. Quite memorable!!!