Seven balding middle-aged geniuses, wearing suits and ties with war medals and badges attached, combine to make this highly entertaining spectacle called Mnozil Brass. I saw them last Thursday at Aichi Arts Centre Concert Hall and was completely amazed by their brilliance.
Trombone, trumpet, tuba and guest appearances by clarinets, flugelhorns, tin whistles and rubber balls are played with melodious ease, booming power and humour. I’ve never heard such sweet sounds from trombones or witnessed that comedic rush of wind that causes hair to raise from the sound. I could swear the front row’s hair blew back when the group, lined up and front of stage, used every part of their lungs to lift everyone from their seats.
What makes them special is their fantastic humour and performance abilities. They played through Satie, Carol King and Michael Jackson with ease while acting short theatrical pieces and performed a slow motion old western gun fight in a saloon while playing a spaghetti western medley complete with flying bullets and shoes (slow motion).
Leonhard Paul, towering, lanky, long-haired multi-instrumentalist, played the slides of two trombones clasped between each big toe and keys of two trumpets with each hand, while the other musicians blew through the mouthpieces. Comical facial expressions and attention to the audience belied the fact he was concentrating heavily on four completely separate musical parts (who does that?). Later he introduces band members with his trombone. Paul arranges most of the songs, composes and also likes humorous magic tricks with rubber balls.
A samba, Bacharach , Randy Newman and Robert Schumann later a pop medley of Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Stayin’ Alive and Stevie Windwood’s Gimme Some Lovin’, the balding rotund group are doing a choreographed dance sequence to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. These men are really very, very funny.
The final icing on the cake had the multi-talented humorists tackling Bohemian Rhapsody with Thomas Gansh trying out Freddie’s role. He is superb and the accompanying vocalists are harmonious and inspiring. It’s all a bit much really. Too much talent in the one room – they deserve world-wide recognition. I highly recommend you check them out. They’ll be in Japan until the 5th of July.