Reviews - CDs and DVDs

Soloist Showcase - Black Dyke Band

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Soloists Showcase

Black Dyke Band

Conductor: Dr. Nicholas Childs

Doyen Label: CD292






This disc contains solos, duets, trios, quartets and features items from all sections of the band from soprano through to percussion, indeed there is nothing else but solos, 18 of them.

A jazzy version of Oh When the Saints from soprano player Paul Duffy gets the disc off to a bright start before principal cornet Richard Marshall gives a brilliant clinically clean performance of Andy Owenson’s arrangement of the golden oldie Napoli. Time to say Goodbye is played in a duet arrangement by Alex Gibson (cornet) and Jonathan Bates (tenor horn) which is followed by the cornet section, all ten of them, in Pablo de Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen.  

That’ll Do features flugel horn soloist Zoe Hancock who displays a lovely sound and good melody line. Kenneth Downie’s The Piper o’ Dundee provides horn soloist Sheona White with a vehicle that allows her to show off a full round tone and technique to advantage. They are joined by the other members of the horn section in Sandy Smith’s rhythmically bright arrangement of Reet Petite.

Baritone soloist Katrina Marzella produces a beautiful tone and gives sympathetic treatment in this Roberts arrangement of the traditional tune Carrickfergus. Philip Sparke’s Harlequin is the choice of euphonium soloist Gary Curtin in which he displays a rich tone and brilliant technical dexterity. This is a stunning performance in all its aspects.

A sextet of euphoniums and baritones give a lyrically moving rendition of Evelyn Glennie’s A Little Prayer.

Gardell Simons’ solo for trombone Atlantic Zephyrs waltzes along with lots of well placed twists and turns in the capable hands of Brett Baker and bass trombonist Adrian Hirst gives a beautiful relaxed performance  of Sandy Smith’s arrangement of Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind. Charles Williams’ Devil’s Gallop in this arrangement for four trombones, may bring back memories of listening to Dick Barton on the wireless, but it is not as exciting as the original version.

Mists on the River Wear is somewhat different from the general run of bass solos, it gracefully melodic in parts and quite agile at times. It is beautifully lyrical and articulate as performed here by Eb bass soloist Joseph Cook. Eric Ball’s Quartet for Tubas is reminiscent of the days when quartet contests were popular and though it may sound a little dated by today’s standards it is an interesting inclusion.

Percussionist Andria Price is the xylophone soloist in her own composition Fling which is refreshingly different from the usual solos for this instrument, she is then joined by the entire percussion section in an arrangement of Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance.

A lively arrangement by Peter Graham of Scat from Cats Tales featuring Richard Marshall, Brett Baker Andria Price and Ashley Clegg brings this fine array solos and soloists to a close.

The twelve-page insert gives comprehensive information about the music and performers, a picture gallery with individual pictures and list of band members, an up dated history of the band career details about conductor Dr Nicholas Childs.

This is a classic solo album from a band with an array of soloists that possibly no other band can equal. I should have place in your CD collection.



1. Oh When the Saints, Paul Duffy (Soprano Cornet), [4.02]
2. Napoli, Herman Bellstedt, arr. Andy Owenson, Richard Marshall (Cornet), [4.54]
3. Time to Say Goodbye, Francesco Sartori, arr. Dan Price, Alex Gibson (Cornet) and Jonathan Bates (Tenor Horn), [3.55]
4. Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs), Pablo de Sarasate, arr. Phil Lawrence, The Cornet Section of the Black Dyke Band, [2.13]
5. That'll Do, Randy Newman, arr. Dan Price, Zoe Hancock (Flugel Horn), [4.15]
6. The Piper O' Dundee, Kenneth Downie, Sheona White (Tenor Horn), [4.49]
7. Reet Petite, Berry Gordy and Tyron Carol, arr. Sandy Smith, The Horn Section of the Black Dyke Band, [2.24]
8. Carrickfergus, Traditional, arr. Stephen Roberts, Katrina Marzella (Baritone), [3.27]
9. Harlequin, Philip Sparke, Gary Curtin (Euphonium), [7.15]
10. A Little Prayer, Evelyn Glennie, The Baritone and Euphonium Section of the Black Dyke Band, [2.31]
11. Atlantic Zephyrs, Gardell Simons, arr. Keith Wilkinson, Brett Baker (Trombone), [4.33]
12. New York State of Mind, Billy Joel, arr. Sandy Smith, Adrian Hirst (Bass Trombone), [5.22]
13. Devil's Galop, Charles Williams, arr. Boyle, Brett Baker, Paul Woodward Garry Reed and Adrian Hirst (Trombones), [1.46]
14. Mists on the River Wear, Dan Price, Joseph Cook (Tuba), [6.39]
15. Quartet for Tubas, Eric Ball, Joseph Cook, Philip Goodwin, Matthew Routley and Danny Sinclair (Tubas), [4.19]
16. Fling, Andrea Price (Xylophone), [3.46]
17. Sabre Dance, Aram Khatchaturian, arr. Moore , The Percussion Section of the Black Dyke Band, [2.25]
18. Scat from Cats Tales, Peter Graham, [3.12]

Jeffrey Turner