The International Staff Band Of The Salvation Army - Daystar

Published Thursday 4th June 2009
The International Staff Band Of The Salvation Army - Daystar
The International Staff Band Of The Salvation Army - Daystar

STYLE: Brass Band
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 77503-15186
LABEL: Salvationist Publishing & Supp
RRP: £13.95

Reviewed by Ian Hayter

Bandmaster Steven Cobb has been directing this ensemble of some of the very best brass players in the world since 1994 so he knows his music and he knows his bandsmen extremely well which leads to a powerful and stirring set of performances. This selection, which opens with Kenneth Downie's uplifting march "The Covenanters", features compositions by Downie, Ralph Steadman-Allen and the incomparable Leslie Condon. With the exception of Downie's arrangement of Bruckner's moving "Ave Maria", they are all original compositions, but lurking within them are the melodies of several well-known hymns and worship songs. The featured soloist on this album is principal euphonium player Derick Kane, who gives a memorable performance of Downie's "Images Of Praise" (written especially for him) and who also provides plenty of outstanding work in the ensemble pieces. Steadman-Allen's 13 minute "Daystar" is based on a 17th century hymn tune "Ascalon" and features complex rhythms, rousing cornet work, a counter-melody based on the Easter hymn "My Saviour Suffered On The Tree" and some fine flugel horn playing from Robert Foster. The standard set by these tracks is maintained throughout the set, closing with Condon's dramatic "Call Of The Righteous", woven around the themes of "When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder" and William Booth's "Are You Washed In The Blood Of The Lamb?" and including a great canon section between cornets and horns. If you love brass music this is about as good as it gets.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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