Thursday, January 11, 2024

Album Review: Brass Queens - Black & Gold

Brass Queens
Black & Gold 
***and1/2 out of *****

The nine piece, all-female horn outfit, Brass Queens hail from Brooklyn, NY, combining NYC's melting pot ways with New Orleans brass band tradition, along with a healthy dose of pop sensibilities throughout their debut full length release Black & Gold. Consisting of covers and originals the Brass Queens get the party moving with bright brass and funky rhythms. 

Consisting of Alex Harris (trumpet), Stephanie King (trumpet), Minerva Johnson (trumpet), Ally Chapel (alto sax), Jenna Murdoch (tenor sax), Elizabeth Arce (trombone), Stephanie Young (trombone) Nora Nalepka (sousaphone), Heather Ewer (sousaphone), Caitlin Cawley (percussion), Ashley Baier (drum kit), the outfit starts things out with some spoken word goodness before covering Doja Cat's "Kiss Me More" in light, floating fashion.   

Drums and percussion lead the charge during a take on Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next!" which also showcases dynamite trumpet work while the outfits spin on Bill Withers classic "Just The Two of Us" is less successful. The band works best when they are upbeat and moving such as on their original offerings, like the head bopping "Vision Quest" and the soaring "Just For Your Love" which displays dynamite brass work throughout. 

Another winner is the groups spin on "Lambada" that injects some Latin flair into the party sounds. The Brass Queens heated take on Bad Bunny's "Dákiti" uses lots of percussion and groove to also keep the dancefloor busy while Lizzo's "Good as Hell" opts for a smooth flowing approach. Some of the best percussion work can be found on the Brass Queens version of TLC's "Waterfalls" as the snapping drums pop, while the group dips into some reggae with a whirl through Gym Class Heroes "Cupid's Chokehold". 

The group confidently strolls out a swaggering rendition of "Lady Marmalade" that feels perfect for this outfits talents as the Brass Queens mix of originality and a revamping of pop songs in brass band fashion ends up a pleasurable listen on Black and Gold.  
Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

1 comment:

  1. This album is so fun and so great — a real big breath of fresh New-Orleans-Meets-New-York-City air! I can’t stop raving about this band to my friends because, well, the trombone solos* are amazing (*and other solos too but I’m somewhat biased), and the way the pop song covers were arranged are so fun to listen to. But whatI really love is how this unexpectedly original first track sets the whole we’re-gonna-party-brass-band-style tone of the album… Hats off to this cool band that commands attention with this high energy album that makes me feel like I’m hearing them live at a festival. Check out this album, or you just might be missing the biggest NOLA brass band party in the Big Apple that only a super brass band like Brass Queens can throw!