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Au début des années 50, le trompettiste anglais Philip Jones eut la bonne idée de réunir les meilleurs solistes des pupitres de cuivres des grands orchestres anglais pour créer une formation inédite : The Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. Constitué de 12 musiciens (trompettes, cor, trombones, tuba et percussions), cet ensemble de cuivres a très vite développé un vaste répertoire allant de la musique de la Renaissance au XXème siècle et a enchainé les tournées mondiales jusqu’à la disparition de son fondateur en 2000.
Philip Jones brass ensemble, Lollipops
The music on this record is a selection of PJBE originals and arrangements from the lighter side of their repertoire. It is for easy listening, and we hope that it will entertain our many brass fans, both players and listeners, wherever they are. LONDON MINIATURES was written for the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble especially with foreign concert tours in mind. It portrays in a number of deftly characterized musical cameos some of the famous places that visitors seek out when exploring London for the first time.
In contrast to Gordon Langford's musical view of his home town, Jim Parker, our other London born composer, takes a look at his favorite American town, New York. Although A LONDONER IN NEW YORK was originally written for one of the PJBE’s American tours, it has quickly become a favorite with our audiences everywhere.
The five movements of this suite represent in musical terms Parker's view of certain aspects of New York: the bustle of "Grand Central Station', the syncopated 'Echoes of Harlem', the soaring architecture of the ‘Chrisler Building', the pastoral oasis of 'Central Park', and the breezy bonhomie of Radio City. The other pieces on this record are typical PJBE concert encores, highlighting both the individual virtuosity and corporate skill of its members and arrangers.
The idea of a brass ensemble came to Philip Jones while counting his many tacet bars as a very young trumpet player in the Royal Opera House Orchestra. Brass ensembles did not exist then, nor was there any repertoire. At that time it would have been difficult to imagine that, three decades later, the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, with a large and varied repertoire and about 50 or so gramophone records to its credit, would be travelling around the world, playing at major international festivals, performing at grand occasions and giving masterclasses on brass ensemble playing worldwide.
But this is exactly what the PJBE is doing now. The Ensemble, whose members are leading London brass players, does several concert trips in Europe every year, tours U.S.A. and Japan alternatively every second year and appears at many international festivals. Philip Jones and his musicians have been in Australia twice and visited the Near and Far East. They played for the Pope on his historic visit to England in May 1982, both at Westminster Cathedral and at Canterbury, and they appear on television at home and abroad.
Each year several new records are added to their Decca collection. A large part of the PJBE repertoire was written or arranged specially for the Ensemble and is now published in the 'Just Brass' music series at Chester Music London, edited by Elgar Howarth and Philip Jones; these publications are being increased and diversified continuously.
Philip Jones is the third generation of a family of brass players. He studied at the Royal College of Music and began his career in the Royal Opera House orchestra, subsequently playing principal trumpet with all the major orchestras in London. From 1975 to 1977 he was Head of the School of Wind and Percussion at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
In the autumn of 1983 he accepted the post of Head of Wind and Percussion at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the City of London. He is a Fellow of the RNCM, the GSM and the RCM, and in 1977 was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to music.