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.
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.