Review: River City Brass takes backseat to doo-wop
James Gourlay says he wants to make the current series of concerts seem like the mix of jazz and pop that might have been common in homes in the 1950s and ‘60s.
The general director of the brass band has a good idea. Only one problem. The doo-wop material of Johnny and the Halos so dominates the concerts that the big-band jazz from the brass group is shunted into the attic.
The lightweight material of the band does not help either. Aside from its great arrangement of the “Channel 1 Suite,” a classic of the Buddy Rich Band, the River City's look at big-band jazz is unimaginative. Oh, it does some new arrangements of classics such as “Strike Up the Band” and “Birdland,” but new does not always equal good.
Meanwhile, Johnny Angel and the Halos dominate both halves of the concert with material ranging from expected hits such as “Oh, What a Night,” “Rock and Roll Heaven” and “Rubberband Man.”
Even when playing traditional concert material, River City Brass has done much better that this.
Concerts are April 9 at Upper St. Clair High School; April 10 at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center; Beaver County; April 11 at Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland; and April 12 at Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Johnstown. Admission ranges from $21 to $41. Details: 412-434-7222 or www.rivercity.org. Details for the Pasquerilla concert are at 814-269-7200.
— Bob Karlovits
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.