Brasstronomical is the title of their sophomore album. After making a splash in Toronto’s jazz scene in 2011 with Don’t Bring Me Down, this latest record kicked off with the title track, one of a few original songs. ‘Brasstronomical’ is a very upbeat, groovy funk song with catchy hooks that bring to mind the likes of Chris Mayfield’s ‘Move On Up’ and ‘Make the Road Walking; by The Menahan Street Band. Midway through, the song strips down to expose another more emotional layer with a bluesy saxophone solo. ‘Brasstronomical’ definitely shows a maturity in the band from their first record.
Another highlight original is ‘Booze Hounds’ – a swinging, funk song featuring veteran blues and jazz singer, Jay Douglas.
Other compositions vary from a wide range of music, including Louis Armstrong, R. Kelly, and Lady Gaga.
Their cover of ‘St. James Infirmary’ stuck out amidst the 13 tracks. While the most famous version by Louis Armstrong was a more traditional blues song, the Brass Band picked up the pace midway turning it into a more upbeat jazz standard. The strength of the accompanying vocals helped give ‘Infirmary’ that extra oomph.
Some diversity is also provided in the band’s sound, with the hot Latin song, ‘Misterioso’, featuring Jane Bunnett astutely playing on the saxophone.
Overall, The Heavyweights Brass Band with their sophomore record Brasstronomical helps spice up the Toronto jazz scene giving it that New Orleans flavour. They celebrated the release of the album at the Lulu Lounge on March 6.
For more on The Heavyweights Brass Band, visit www.heavyweightsbrassband.com.