Brass Roots: Music for Percussion, Harp and Piano – The Los Angeles Brass Quintet and Percussion Ensemble – William Kraft, Nonet for Brass Quintet and Percussion; Frank Campo, Madrigals for Brass Quintet; Rayner Brown, Concertino for Harp and Brass Quintet; William Schmidt, Concertino for Piano and Brass Quintet. Crystal Records CD CD109 TT: 50:23  (10/3/18- Originally released 1974) ****:

This is a fine collection of contemporary Brass works originally released back in 1974. At the time the recording was considered an audiophile delight, and in its latest incarnation it is still head and shoulders above many more modern recording.

The Los Angeles Brass Quintet and Percussion Ensemble are at the forefront of playing contemporary music. All the works on offer here are very pleasurable to listen to, and I especially enjoyed the Kraft Nonet and Rayner Brown’s Concertina for Harp and Brass Quintet, both for the creativity of the composition, but also the adept blending of the harp with the brass instruments.

Although this is an older recording, you would never know it by listening. The brass instruments have just the right punch, and percussion instruments realistically leap out of your speakers. It’s a wonderful sound, and care has been taken to produce this CD. The background, even on headphones is quiet letting us know this was a well treated low noise recording.

I’m partial to brass recording having been a trumpet player in college, so I always approach brass recordings with heightened interest and a trace of nostalgia.

Do yourself a favor and get this disc if your interest runs to contemporary music well played and wonderfully recorded.

—Mel Martin