Top Brass

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Top Brass
Top Brass.jpg
Studio album by Ernie Wilkins
Released 1956
Recorded November 8, 1955
Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey
Genre Jazz
Label Savoy
MG 12044
Producer Ozzie Cadena
Ernie Wilkins chronology
Flutes & Reeds
(1955) Flutes & Reeds1955
Top Brass
The Drum Suite
(1956) The Drum Suite1956

Top Brass (subtitled Featuring 5 Trumpets) is an album by American jazz composer and arranger Ernie Wilkins featuring performances recorded in 1955 and first released on the Savoy label. [1] [2] The album consists of five original selections with trumpeters Ray Copeland, Idrees Sulieman, Donald Byrd, Ernie Royal and Joe Wilder followed by five standards featuring each individually.

Ernie Wilkins American jazz saxophonist, bandleader and music arranger

Ernest Brooks Wilkins Jr. was an American jazz saxophonist, conductor and arranger who spent several years with Count Basie. He also wrote for Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, and Dizzy Gillespie. He was musical director for albums by Cannonball Adderley, Dinah Washington, Oscar Peterson, and Buddy Rich.

Savoy Records American record label

Savoy Records is an American record company and label established by Herman Lubinsky in 1942 in Newark, New Jersey. Savoy specialized in jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel music.

Ray Copeland was an American jazz trumpet player and teacher.



The Allmusic review by Ken Dryden awarded the album 3 stars stating "If there's any complaint about this studio date at all, it is the excess reverb used at times, which is surprising due to Rudy Van Gelder's usually impeccable sound". [3]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [3]

Track listing

All compositions by Ernie Wilkins except as indicated

  1. "58 Market Street" (Earl Van Riper, Ernie Wilkins) - 4:26
  2. "Trick or Treat" (Manny Albam, Wilkins) - 5:22
  3. "Speedway" - 4:43
  4. "Dot's What" (Johnny Mandel) - 5:41
  5. "Top Brass" - 3:22
  6. "Willow Weep for Me" (Ann Ronell) - 2:16
  7. "Imagination" (Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke) - 4:41
  8. "It Might as Well Be Spring" (Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II) - 1:01
  9. "The Nearness of You" (Hoagy Carmichael, Ned Washington) - 2:37
  10. "Taking a Chance on Love" (Vernon Duke, Ted Fetter, John La Touche) - 3:43


Arrangement musical composition in altered form

In music, an arrangement is a musical reconceptualization of a previously composed work. It may differ from the original work by means of reharmonization, melodic paraphrasing, orchestration, or development of the formal structure. Arranging differs from orchestration in that the latter process is limited to the assignment of notes to instruments for performance by an orchestra, concert band, or other musical ensemble. Arranging "involves adding compositional techniques, such as new thematic material for introductions, transitions, or modulations, and endings.. .. Arranging is the art of giving an existing melody musical variety".

Conducting directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures

Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as an orchestral or choral concert. It has been defined as "the art of directing the simultaneous performance of several players or singers by the use of gesture." The primary duties of the conductor are to interpret the score in a way which reflects the specific indications in that score, set the tempo, ensure correct entries by ensemble members, and "shape" the phrasing where appropriate. Conductors communicate with their musicians primarily through hand gestures, usually with the aid of a baton, and may use other gestures or signals such as eye contact. A conductor usually supplements their direction with verbal instructions to their musicians in rehearsal.

Idrees Sulieman American musician

Idrees Sulieman was a bop and hard bop trumpeter.

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  1. Savoy Records Catalog: 12000 series accessed February 5, 2016
  2. Discography of the Savoy/Regent and Associated labels accessed February 5, 2016
  3. 1 2 Dryden, Ken. Top Brass Featuring Five Trumpets – Review at AllMusic . Retrieved February 5, 2016.