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)
Faith is the Victory (Sam Creamer)
Morning Star (Ian Robinson)
Telling It (Sam Creamer)
What a Wonderful Day (Andreas Holmlund)
High Over All (Sam Creamer)
Lift up Your Voice (Stephen Bulla)
Deep River (William Broughton)
Light-walk (Barrie Gott)
Any Time (Sam Creamer)
Where I Love to Be (Kevin Larsson)
Time to Shine (Andrew Mackereth)
Swing Wide the Pearly Gate (Andreas Holmlund)
On Duty (Paul Sharman)
What people are saying about ‘Salvation Saxophone’
I really enjoyed this recording. Initially I was not sure how these Salvation Army songs would work in ‘Swing’ treatment but my concerns were allayed by the cleverness of the arrangements and the excellent playing of Birmingham Citadel Band. I knew the line-up on saxophone would be well up to the task but it was also good to hear how well the band played with appropriate tone and style and the fine kit drumming deserves a special mention. The arrangements vary in style from Sam Creamer’s ‘St Thomas’-inflected High Over All through Barrie Gott’s classic Light Walk to the old SA favourite Where I love to be as a full-blooded Tango!
Wing Commander Rob Wiffen OBE
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