For the first time since the days of the 78rpm gramophone, a Salvation Army Band have included a full Saxophone section in a recording.
This album came about following a remark from a professional saxophone player who having recently been commissioned a solider in The Salvation Army asked if she could play saxophone in the band. As it happens, during the early 20th Century some brass bands did include saxophones, such as Swindon, Reading and Chalk Farm Bands who all included a saxophone section. Even the Melbourne and New York Staff Bands sported saxophones for a time!
But what instrument part would the saxophone play and what would the band sound like? The challenge to find out was born. Choosing the right tracks to record was pondered and with the help of Bandmaster Gavin Lamplough the popular upbeat dance rhythms, such as swing arrangements were chosen. Certainly saxophones would add a new colour to the band and their ability to bend into notes would show the dexterity of the instrument. All the composers were approached and discussions started around which part each saxophone would play. Subsequently, a diverse group of professional saxophone players were booked and after months of preparation, we entered the recording studio.
We hope you enjoy this unique album showing the diversity of this renowned Salvation Army Band as well as picking up on the excitement and joy that both band and saxophones had playing together recording this album.
- Since Jesus (Leonard Ballantine)
An upbeat swing arrangement of the old song 'Since Jesus came in my heart' published in the Festival Series in 1995.
- Faith is the Victory (Sam Creamer)
In a Latin Rock style, this arrangement gives the alto and tenor saxophones chance to shine in their respective solos.
- Morning Star (Ian Robinson)
A swing arrangement of the song 'The lily of the valley, the bright and morning star'. Published in the Triumph Series, March 1990.
- Telling It (Sam Creamer)
'I want to tell what God has done' is given a Salsa feel in the new arrangement from Creamer.
- What a Wonderful Day (Andreas Holmlund)
From Sweden, Andreas Holmlund features the song 'The Saviour sought and found me, O what a wonderful day!' in classic big style.
- High Over All (Sam Creamer)
A different dance style, this time a Samba.
- Lift up Your Voice (Stephen Bulla)
Commissioned by the Melbourne Staff Band, the tune St Francis brings excitement with modern rhythms that again reveal the ageless quality of the melody and text. Published in the General Series in August 2012.
- Deep River (William Broughton)
Published in the General Series in 1999, this slow swing number highlights the quality of Broughton's writing for big bands.
- Light-walk (Barrie Gott)
Originally written for the Star Lake Camp in 1986, this piece became a firm favourite with bands around the world after the ISB featured it at the Royal Albert Hall a year later. It was then published in the Festival Series in March 1988.
- Any Time (Sam Creamer)
Creamer takes the well loved chorus 'I want to live right, that God may use me, at any time, and anywhere' in a Dixieland style. This track gave the saxophone sextet a chance to present a number on their own.
- Where I Love to Be (Kevin Larsson)
Published in the Unity Series in 2012, this Tango version of 'O that's the place where I love to be' shows how the Unity Series can work just as well for a large band.
- Time to Shine (Andrew Mackereth)
Written for the tour of the UK by the Melbourne Staff Band in 2001 and based on the tune 'Jesus bids us shine', Mackereth has captured the style of a theatrical dance routine. This foot tapping arrangement has a jazz solo written for the flugel horn and the trombone. On this recording Mackereth elected these to be played by the Eb alto and Bb tenor saxophones respectively.
- Swing Wide the Pearly Gate (Andreas Holmlund)
Another big band arrangement from Holmlund.
- On Duty (Paul Sharman)
The final track was published in the General Series, August 2007. Sharman wrote it for the ISB to use at the beginning of a second half of ISB Festivals. The tune 'The pathway of duty' is presented in big band style. The written cornet solo on this recording is taken by the Eb alto saxophone.
Artists involved in the production
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