Sunday, October 5, 2014

CD Review – Pavane, by Paul Higgs

British horn player Paul Higgs' latest release is a trumpet-based album that people who are not particularly fans of trumpet music can enjoy.

I feel comfortable saying that because, although I do appreciate the contributions and embellishments of horns to music, I am by no means a horn enthusiast, and yet I enjoy this CD as much as I would a well done guitar-based album – or any album of good music, really.

I think the key to Higgs' success here is that rather than make a CD of simply “trumpet music,” he has delivered a collection of pleasant ear-catching compositions that just happen to have the trumpet as the lead instrument. Instead of resorting to showy, flamboyant histrionics, Higgs just plays it straight, keeping to the melodies with eloquent phrasing and letting the distinctive sound of the horn speak for itself.

So in the end, it's Higgs' skill as a composer and his tasteful restraint as a trumpeter that elevate this album to a high level of exquisite elegance.

--Raj Manoharan

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