Reviews - CDs and DVDs

Salute to Sousa - Brett Baker

brett Baker - aSalute to Sousa and other Forgotten Trombone Solos

Brett Baker - Trombone

John Wilson - Pianoforte

Label: White River Evocations:






The title may be a somewhat misleading as this disc is not a collection of exhibitionistic music that one would expect in a Sousa Band’s programme, nor indeed the kind of trombone solos that we in the brass band fraternity are accustomed to. It is a recital of rarely performed trombone music covering a period from the early 1600’s up to 1940. The probability is that most of the works on this CD have not previously been recorded, nor indeed been performed in the lifetime of those of my generation.

This is a most interesting collection of solos covering a range of styles from ballad and song like music to virtuosic showpiece solos. Of special interest is Concerto for Trombone and Piano written in 1840 by Josef Novakorsky and the melodically flowing Sea Shells Waltz composed some 40 years later by Fredrick Neil Innes who was trombone soloist in the famous Patrick Gilmore Band.

One should not be put off by first few pieces – it does get easier listening later on with solos that would be enjoyed in present day band programmes. Personally I found this collection of trombone music kept me interested from beginning to end, but would suggest that one has to be a bit of a connoisseur of the instrument to sit and listen to just under 80 minutes of music devoted to the trombone with just a piano accompaniment. What must be said however is that the playing from both these highly skilled performers is faultless.

The package includes a ten-page booklet with career details about the performers and comprehensive information about the music and composers.


1. La Hieronyma, Cesare, [2.43]
2. St Thomas Sonata, Anon, [3.15]
3. Concertino, Carl Heinrich Meyer, [11.19]
4. Concertino, Josef Novakovsky, [10.29]
5. Sea Shells Waltz, Frederick Innes, [8.16]
6. The Sweetest Story Ever Told, RM Stults, [1.55]
7. Harbour Lights, Clay Smith, [5.57]
8. Leona Waltz, Leo Zimmerman, [5.52]
9. Priscilla Polka, Simone Mantia, [4.00]
10. Devotion, Ernest Clarke, [2.07]
11. Salute to Sousa, Frank Burnell, [6.55]
12. The Heaven of Love, Edwin Franco Goldman, [3.10]
13. Hyperion Polka, Manual Yingling, [3.33]
14. A Vous, Al Pinard, [2.31]
15. Beautiful Colorado, Joseph de Luca, [5.20]


            Jeffrey Turner