Freedom of Movement: 21st Century Trumpet Concertos is Rex Richardson’s ninth album under his own name. This is Rex’s most ambitious project to date, showcasing four remarkable compositions by renowned figures in the world of brass music: Anthony Plog, Andy Scott, James Stephenson and Allen Vizzutti.
These genre-bending works represent the future of the trumpet as a solo instrument, pushing boundaries in terms of technical demands, expressive capabilities and the use of improvisation.
Recorded in four cities on three continents, featuring the Brass Band of Central Florida, Symphonic Winds Tokyo, England’s Maidstone Wind Symphony, and Arizona’s Salt River Brass, this album presented formidable logistical challenges. It was made possible through great generosity and ingenious work on the part of the composers, conductors, engineers and producers (with special thanks to Neil Brown, Jonathan Crowhurst, Yoshiaki Ito, Gareth Pritchard, Patrick Sheridan, Chad Shoopman, James Stephenson, and Satoshi Takagaki), as well as substantial funding from Virginia Commonwealth University and the support of over 130 donors through GoFundMe.com.
Rex sends his heartfelt thanks to the GoFundMe supporters, without which this album would have been impossible to create!
"Rex Richardson is more than a great trumpeter and composer who mixes classical technique and jazz vocabulary with a virtuoso's aplomb. He is an artist whose playing demands to be listened to, and his recordings have exploded the boundaries of what is possible."
- Christopher Martin , Principal Trumpet, New York Philharmonic
"Amazing. Inspiring. These albums are full of surprises, delightful musical adventures. Rex Richardson’s incredible stylistic diversity, intense musicality and fiery technique are second to none.”
- Allen Vizzutti, International Trumpet Soloist and
Iwan Fox - 4barsrest
CD review: Freedom of Movement — 21st Century Trumpet Concertos
Salt River Brass; Maidstone Wind Symphony; Brass Band of Central Florida; Symphonic Winds Tokyo
Conductors: Patrick Sheridan, Jonathan Crowhurst, Chad Shoopman, James Stephenson
Summit Records: CD DCD 724
Sunday, 15 July 2018
Rex Richardson has always been one of the most dangerously thrilling soloists to enjoy in full performance flow.
There is no premeditated risk-assessment to what he does - just a fearless adventurousness (musically as well as geographically on this occasion) that can never imprison his musical spirit. It gives his playing an edge of expressive unpredictability that has a wonderful libertine quality.
It may also explain why for this release he’s drawn to works by composers who possess the same ethos. The concertos of Vizzutti, Scott, Plog and Stephenson are unrestrained in their daring, audacious outlook.
As a result he doesn’t half revel in them.
‘Three World Winds’ by Allen Vizzutti is Beaufort scale gale-force stuff; from blisteringly hot to languidly cool and finally, swirling to the type of tempestuous cyclone climax that whisks away Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Richardson clicks his ruby heels and produces playing of cinemascope technicolor fission.
An exploration of virtuosity of a different kind is heard with the richly textured soundscapes and harmonic structures of Andy Scott’s ‘Freedom of Movement’.
The candid throb of its underpinning core is its connecting pulse; allowing the soloist to pursue avenues of adventure on a generous tether. It’s a wonderful, ductile piece of musicianship that makes for a work of colourful substance.
Meanwhile, abstract thought processes and mood shifts are found in Anthony Plog’s enticing ‘Concerto’ - inspired by five expressionist works by the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky.
Each conveys an air of mystery and impressionism - Richardson delivering a nuanced performance that conveys immediacy as well as remoteness.
Deep sheen of substance
It’s all rounded off with the ‘Rextreme’ concerto by James Stephenson. It may have become the American’s calling card since first performed in 2010, but its witty familiarity has developed a deep sheen of substance that on first hearing can perhaps pass you by.
He now paces the three movements with cultured sophistication – allowing leeway to accelerate the tension without losing the supple, vivid technical agility that made it such a startling addition to the repertoire in the first place.
Aided throughout by sympathetic, neatly tailored accompaniment, it closes a CD that has an unmistakable sense of the freedom of movement that continues to be Richardson’s unrestricted passport stamp on all his musical travels.