Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (originally from Chicago) has been making the rounds in NYC for quite a while. They play on the street, in subways, and at a concert near you. I saw them last summer opening for Leela James in Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem (picture below). I was impressed by their cohesiveness but put off by their attitude. There was a lot of one hand trumpet playing with the other hand on the belt buckle just so…a few of them seem to think they’re sex symbols. Hey, what do I know, maybe they are….yeah, probably not though. I was also a little put off that they were selling homemade slim-case CDRs for $15. I support the arts but I think 1000% ($10) is a fair profit margin on something with such a lack of production value.
I recently got my hands on all three CDs through the generosity of a friend and, well…this one is pretty incredible. I gave 10 of its 12 songs three or more stars in my iTunes, which is almost unheard of for me (and the other two got two and half). Unfortunately it’s the only album that’s not currently on the iTunes store. It’s the newest album so it may still yet appear. Next time I see them I plan to buy it (what? I don’t have a guilty conscience).
Here are some tracks that are available on iTunes that I can recommend: Todd (In Memory of), Jupiter, Birthday, Paradise, Balicky Bon.
Songs are available for two weeks.