09 August 2010

Monday's mp3: Bring on the Brass!

Without brass, I'm nothing. With brass, all things are possible. I felt sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no brass. Faith, hope, and charity...the greatest of these is brass.

Okay, perhaps I'm taking my love of brass music a bit far. But really, we live in a wonderful time for it. Some eras ago, I played clarinet, and tenor saxophone. But playing marches and school band music and such, I never developed even the faintest idea just how cool these and other familiar band instruments could be.

Then I discovered Bollywood brass bands, and klezmer brass bands, and Afrobeat brass bands, and yes...Balkan brass bands. And while my instruments were long gone, I found a new kind of music to love.

Other share this passion, and even expand on it by forming bands in curious places. Red Baraat blasts Bollywood brass in NYC. Gangbe Brass Band cuts loose in Benin. And Brass Menazeri pulls in many global styles from their base in the Bay Area.

Brass Menazeri's newest CD, Vranjski San is available next week, though through some chronological quirk I reviewed it back in 2008, so check out that review (entitled "Balkan Dreaming") for more on the album. Since it's new again, here's a taste.

[mp3] Brass Menažeri: Cocekahedron
from the album Vranjski San

Bonus: Brass Menažeri can't keep a secret; their Facebook boasts a free mp3 of the song "Aaharoula," sung by drummer-vocalist Michele Simon and recorded live during a recent tour. And if you're curious about their instruments, check out this friendly video introduction:

More Brass Menazeri:
Listen/buy CD

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