Fans of the music of John Philip Sousa are getting spoiled given the emergence of Keith Brion's ongoing series of Sousa wind music on Naxos, and even a box set of the complete Sousa marches on Walking Frog. This disc, with the USAF Heritage of America Band under Col. Lowell Graham, and simply titled Sousa, is nonetheless too good to pass up. It represents a mixture of a few familiar Sousa marches along with more obscure fare, most notably the concert suite The Last Days of Pompeii (1903). The quality of this Klavier recording is stunning, and the performances of the music are no less so. All of the works on the disc are played exactly as Sousa would've wanted to hear them, without a hair out of place, but never at the sacrifice of the spirit and energy that this music also requires. The program is chosen to emphasize Sousa's considerable gifts as a composer and is highly successful in this regard. Sousa is a disc that will not only appeal to band fanciers, but to anyone who is interested in high-quality American music.
AllMusic Review by Uncle Dave Lewis
|Tally-Ho!, overture for orchestra|
|The Last Days of Pompeii, suite for band|
|El Capitan, operetta|
|La Reine de la Mer Valses, waltz for band|