Thursday, November 19, 2015

CD Review: Raya Brass Band's 'Raya'

Raya Brass Band

The New York-based sextet, Raya Brass Band, brings to life the music of Eastern Europe and Balkan regions on their latest release, Raya. The sax, trumpet, accordion, keyboards, tupan, snare drum, and assorted percussion are all the Raya Brass Band needs to produce great, instrumental music. The horns, tuba, and percussion are quite varied and innovative, but nothing too far from historical traditions. The nine-track album features a rousing mix of sounds emanating from a variety of instruments that work harmoniously together to create an engaging and upbeat result. Though, the album is under forty-minutes in length, there is plenty of music to cheer about. The punchy, jazz-laden tune, "Sugar and Salt," adds a swirling mix of heady horns and great percussion for a slightly Gypsy/neo-classical approach that would be equally-at home on the classic Seven Brides For Seven Brothers film soundtrack. Overall, the music is diverse enough to capture the ears of listeners everywhere. Fans of brass bands, Gypsy music, instrumental tunes, world jazz, and fusion will find Raya very raya-mazing! ~ Matthew Forss

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