by Connor Creighton
This is not your typical second line brass band. The soundscapes created by 45th Street Brass are truly unprecedented. Whether it’s the deep growl of Peter Daniel’s baritone saxophone, the sensational wails from Jacob Herring’s trombone and Steve O’Brien’s trumpet, or the velvety melodies brought on by Dan Wager’s tenor sax, each song reflects a different vibe. The overall tones of each arrangement toy with a supreme style of versatility, leading us into funky sways to downright dirty swings. This type of division can most easily be heard between the tracks “Happy Dance Fun Time” and “The Mothership.” With styles comparable to early arrangements of Charles Mingus, 45th Street Brass marches through a vast field of influences while still sporting their own idiosyncrasy. Listeners will find that even without a present rhythm section the group proficiently provides song structures and technicality that will keep you bouncing to the pulse.
KNKX: The New Cool blog
by Abe Beeson
In Seattle, the 45th St Brass keep the flame burning brightly. You may have seen and heard the group marching up Ballard Avenue this past Summer playing the opening blasts of the Ballard Jazz Festival's multi-venue jazz walk.
The Curtain Show is their new album, delivering a healthy dose of soul and funk with smartly crafted melodies soaring over the beat and a few well-placed solos and vocals.
The bass line is often shared by sousaphone (Nelson Bell) and baritone saxophone (Peter Daniel, also on alto sax), a pair of trombones (David Marriott & Jason Cressey) play with and against each other. The trumpet of Carter Yasutake shines on bright solos, also sharpening the ensemble melodies.
Ehssan Karimi's drums mix thick marching bass with snare, percussion and a heavier use of high hat cymbals than most brass groups. Karimi is a flexible drummer, at times he even swings, but funk is the main ingredient.
Half of The Curtain Show features guest spots from singers Eva Walker, Davin Michael Stedman and (7th band member) Annie Jantzer. They all bring plenty of drama and power, and a soulful indie-pop sound. It's also a kick to hear iconic Seattle drummer D'Vonne Lewis' rapping 90 seconds of boasting about the undeniable talents of the 45th St Brass, and his own on "The Pursuance".
45th St Brass is an eclectic music ensemble with a passion for making music that feels extremely sophisticated and avant-garde, yet very catchy and appealing.
Their recent release, Sea in the Sky, is a perfect example of their creative vision. The song embodies elements from genres as diverse as jazz, funk, fusion and even pop, going for a broad and appealing tone. The brass sections are incredibly eclectic, going from funky grooves to lush and atmospheric textures, which blends seamlessly with the stunning atmospheres.
Musically, this project makes me think of artists as diverse as Bjork, Kimbra or Tori Amos, but with stronger jazz influences. I really enjoy the broad-ranging tone of this track and the tasteful arrangement, which truly helps the song come to life in a stunning way.
by Edan Krolewicz
Emerging from the depths of North Seattle’s Seamonster Lounge, the 45th St Brass band embodies the jam band/jazz band/psychedelic funk and hip-hop stew that is the North Seattle Sound. Joined by powerhouse vocalist Annie Jantzer and local favorites D’Vonne Lewis (drums) and David Marriott Jr (trombone), 45th St Brass, on The Curtain Show, offers a sonic glimpse into the brass world above Lake Union.
Notable tracks include “Sea in the Sky,” which features powerful exhortations and vocal meanderings by Jantzer, who, along with vocalist Eva Walker (“I Got Mine”), provides a blues-driven garage-rock element backed by Peter Daniel’s dark baritone sax drones.
“The Pursuance,” featuring D’Vonne Lewis, is the album’s only true hip-hop track, with classic horn lines and harmonies backing the clever stylings and allusions to Lewis’ jazz heroes, from Miles Davis to his grandfather.
With the varied musical interests, inspirations, and talent represented in the 45 St Brass Band, The Curtain Show serves as an educational first act to those uninitiated with Seattle’s brass bands.