City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

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Remember – if you send it, it will get reviewed. That’s the City Slang promise. It doesn’t matter what genre the music is – as long as it has a Metro Detroit connection, it’ll get in. Preferably, we’d like to concentrate on new releases but, while we’re getting warmed up here, feel free to send back catalog material too. Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, City Slang, Metro Times, 733, St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 46226. Email MP3s and streaming links to [email protected]

Known best for their roles stood slightly behind Bob Seger, it’s great to see the Motor City Horns put out an album of their own, Local Boys (Brass Jar). This could be terrible if executed with misguided intentions, it could be self-indulgent jam music as these things often turn out to be. However, our boys are smarter than that. The tunes swing and bump along smoother than aged Scotch, and guest appearances from the likes of Thornetta Davis, Paradime, Tino Gross, her majesty Alberta Adams, and the much missed Johnnie Bassett help turn this into something special.

David Ammer is principal of the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra, so one would have to assume that he’s really bloody good. One listen to La Trompette a Renouvele (Brass Jar) confirms this. Pulling particularly haunting, lively and beautiful trumpet sections from a variety of operas, Ammer is able to showcase his delicate and undeniable talent. It’s like the soundtrack to the best Woody Allen movie never made.

Ammer is also a member of the Motor City Brass Quintet, and that group has a Christmas album, Christmas Vespers (Brass Jar). Yes, we know, we’re nearly three months too late, but hey, get it early for December. The trend of late has been to buy Christmas albums by current rock and pop stars, reinterpreting traditional songs in their own style, and that’s great but it’s kinda nice to hear these songs the way they were intended to be heard.

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