On Dress Parade Album Review August 21 2013, 0 Comments

By: Jack Kopstein


The term "dress parade" originally referred to a military parade where soldiers marched in formal uniforms and often carried their weapons. Dress parades are now so uncommon that the term has fallen out of use, and even out of most dictionaries, but in a very real way the United States Air Force Band continues this wonderful tradition. The Band has traded the instruments of battle and has replaced them with musical instruments of patriotism and goodwill. Dress Parade captures the sound and feeling of the forgotten dress parade. This recording features compositions of renowned march composers Chambers, Goldman and Sousa, while simultaneously exploring the works of many lesser-known march composers whose legacies would have been lost had these musical treasures not been recorded.

The album On Dress Parade contains 22 tracks of historical marches from the pens of the America’s greatest march writers. Of particular significance, are the march "Olympic Hippodrome" by Russell Alexander and R.B Hall's "Independentia," both of which are salutatory style marches. Two old 'war horses' on the album are Goldman’s "On the Campus" and Sousa’s timeless "Manhattan Beach" marches which are excellent for march pasts. The uplifting spirit of the "Manhattan Beach" march is evident throughout, but especially in the middle section. A little-known but exceptionally good march composition is J. Bodewalt Lampe's march “National Defense.” He originally came from Denmark to the United States as a young man. The marches on this album constitute some of the finest writing of many of the military and civilian composers of the last two hundred years in America. On Dress Parade is a valuable asset to any band music library.

1. Olympia Hippodrome March (Russell Alexander)

2. Queen City (Walter Halson Boom)

3. On Dress Parade (William Paris Chambers)

4. Bull Trombone (Henry Fillmore)

5. On the Campus (Edwin Franko Goldman)

6. Independentia (Robert Browne Hall)

7. Black Jack (Fred Huffer)

8. Basses on a Rampage (Getty Huffine)

9. The Little Bugler (Arthur Wellesley Hughes)

10. Battle Royal (Fred Jewell)

11. Tribute to the Trombones (Don Kelly)

12. Coat of Arms (George Kenny)

13. Kiefer's Special (William Kiefer)

14. Cyrus the Great (Karl King)

15. National Defense (Jens Bodewalt Lampe)

16. Slippery Streets (Keith Latey)

17. The Fire Master (Harry Lincoln)

18. Slippery Hank (Frank Losey)

19. The Kilties (Samuel Morris)

20. American Red Cross (Louis Panella)

21. Salutation (Roland Seitz)

22. Manhattan Beach (John Philip Sousa)

- Jack Kopstein