Peter London

The Sound of Top Brass

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Like Reprise, Kapp was mostly a copycat label (which is no surprise considering David Kapp's origins at RCA, from which he was fired for signing Eartha Kitt). Top Brass is another in the Medallion series of deluxe gatefold packages showing off stereo. As with Command, there are notes about where various instruments appear in the wondrous spectrum of channel separation (left, right, or center). As with the Time label, there is a hip, modern painting on the jacket. Of the three arrangers' work on this album, Art Harris and Nick Perito's are the best, particularly Harris' "Holiday for Strings." Vic Schoen -- as with his Brass Laced with Strings LP in the RCA Stereo Action series -- is worthless. Perito contributes the Latin titles, and the last track, "Cuanto le Gusta," is worth the price of the album alone. ("Cuanto le Gusta," a hit for Carmen Miranda with the Andrews Sisters, was performed by Miranda and Xavier Cugat in the MGM movie A Date With Judy.)

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