This ain’t your momma’s brass quintet (vid below). They play contemporary stuff and a great example is a cool section in Anders Hillborg’s Quintet that sounds like a backwards recording. One of my favorite brass ensemble pieces in recent years is the Pacquito d’Rivera’s Three Pieces for Brass Quintet, especially Wapango. Visit their web site to catch that Hillborg clip, or just spend a dollar to buy the mp3. Better yet, get the album, New Standards.
In addition to being superb players, they have an educational agenda. Here’s some great practice advice from Axiom. It’s a pretty simple practice technique that 99% of the professional musicians I’ve interviewed use and endorse. Here’s the advice <snip>:
Organize your practicing! Before you pick up your instrument, write down your goals for that specific practicing session. Try to be as clear as possible with what you want to accomplish. After you decide what you want, plan how to achieve these goals. For instance, if you are working on a solo, before you start practicing the solo for the day, figure out what sections need your attention, and what kind of work they need. Finally, map out the way to best work on these sections. Don’t forget to be very patient while you are executing your plan. As Vincent DiMartino once told me, there are two Ps for successful practicing. Planning and Patience.
Axiom Brass is a stellar brass quintet out of Chicago. Axiom Brass’s ensemble playing is precise and expressive. You’ve got to check them out. They’ve also got an educational bent. Right now they’re planning (and fundraising!) for a “Music For All” program that will reach 2,000 Chicagoland students and over 1,000 adults. Help them out! From their website <snip>
Axiom Brass has launched a fundraiser campaign to support our “Music for All” program. In 2013, “Music for all” is set out to reach 20000 students in the Chicagoland area as well as over 1000 adults. By helping fund the campaign, you are making it possible for us to produce 40 educational concerts and 2 recitals. All of these concerts will be free to the students, teachers and general public. These educational concerts will also include preparation and follow-up materials for teachers and students to maximize their learning and enjoyment of the music.
To help us fund the program, please make a donation to our campaign. You can also help us a great deal by promoting our campaign with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or via email. (Axiom Brass on Facebook, Twitter)
Here is a video of Axiom Brass doing a beautiful arrangement of In the Bleak Midwinter, because even though it’s March, it’s gray outside and 28 degrees in Chicago. A gorgeous rendition with superb control and wonderful intonation. Those who play music will appreciate the difficulty of this tune and how well Axiom pulls it off. Nice!
Dorival Puccini, Jr., trumpet
Colin Oldberg, trumpet
Matthew Oliphant, horn
Caleb Lambert, trombone
Kevin Harrison, tuba
- Colin Oldberg, Axiom Brass trumpeter, spoke to me about practice when he was principal trumpet in the Hong Kong Symphony.
- Back from NYC! (ellenmcsweeney.wordpress.com)
- Rejection: A Good Thing?? (guidingstarcinema-blog.com)
- Atlantic Brass Quintet Seminar Application Deadline March 1st (iowabrass.com)
- Atlantic Brass Quintet Recording (iowabrass.com)
- 1st ID Brass Quintet teams up with Kuwait National Guard Band (dvidshub.net)