Lists: 5 Righteous Brass Riffs

I’m bored and don’t feel like studying. Furthermore I don’t really have any new music to write about. The solution? Listing awesome riffs that come from brass sections instead of guitars.

What got me hooked on a bombastic brass section? Part of it is due to my mothers influence of early 50’s big band records. The other part wholeheartedly belongs to the years I spent in high school listening to ska. Case in point, “Surfin’ in Tofino” from the Planet Smashers.

High school is also where I discovered this second riff but it wasn’t until yesterday I actually bothered to track down the sample. The song is “Stand Up” from The Prodigy which samples the track “One Way Glass” by the British psych band, Manfred Mann. Both songs are killer but the goal was to highlight the originators of each riff and what Manfred Mann produced is one of the most feel-good riffs around.

The next song is one of those rare treats for classic rock radio, getting only played a couple times a year. This makes each time still feel fresh and prevents the song from getting stale. However you could play “Ophelia” by The Band every goddamn day and it wouldn’t even come close to drying out. One of the few songs I will hollar along to in public, regardless of time or place.

Now we’re getting into some more modern territory with The Apples and their track “Fly On It”. They are a Israeli group that combines a live bass/drum/brass section with two DJs to produce some staggeringly groovy results. “Fly On It” is the title track from their 2012 LP and is easily one of the best combinations of live and sampled music I have heard.

Closing things out is “Alyo” from the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. A group of 8 sons of famed jazz trumpeter Phil Cohran, they combine nothing but brass and drums into infectious rhythms. Their self-titled LP was released in 2009 and “Alyo” is opener from that album. Nothing sounds quite as solid as the wave of golden-hued noise coming from this group of brothers.

So there. 5 riffs that came out of horns, not guitars. Hopefully this has whetted your appetite for some more of this glorious, glorious metal (literally).

Now back to work.



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