A Fine Band Concert
J. Ames | Philadelphia USA | 08/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD captures the spirit of that soon to be lost bit of authentic Americana--the band concert on the village green. As a saxophonist with nearly thirty years' of concerts and parades under his belt, I can tell you that this is a fine and very enjoyable concert!The playing is outstanding, the men's chorus exactly as it should be, and the selection of music will be familiar to anyone who spent an evening under the stars listening to the local musicians play Sousa and other crowd-pleasing, but not hackneyed favorites as found on this album.The only flaw I detected is a change to the lyrics of the title song, Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA". In a bow to political correctness, the line "and I won't forget the MEN who died, to keep that right for me" was altered to a gender-neutered "the ONES who died...". Let's face it--of the millions of American war-dead, only a small handful were female. Am I the last remaining American to understand that a man fights not because he wants to, but because he understands that it is his manly duty to fight? By neutering a "man" into a "one", to please the tender sensibilities of an academic feminist, we insult those men who gave their lives that their womenfolk, among others, might live in freedom. I say that stinks. The Army ought to know better."
Nice CD - but some drawbacks
J. Ames | 05/04/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I like this CD - but it has both strong and weak points. The strong point is the excellent U.S. Army Chorus - their all male voicing is perfect for this kind of repertoire. The weak point of this disc is the limited repertoire and the inconsistency of the quality throughout the disc. My understanding is that these Allegro recordings are essentially legal pirates of music which the military itself is not permitted to sell to the public. Through a quirk in the law - Allegro gathers whatever free recordings it can find of the military ensembles and repackages them for sale to the public. The result is a rather paltry selection of music of varying quality (since the recordings contained on this disc were not intended for commercial release on a CD). After listening to this disc I am convinced that the best choral recording of the entire patriotic repertoire is the newly released "Spirit of Freedom" by the Washington Men's Camerata (on the Gothic label)."