Brass Rock

The more I’ve delved into the brass rock genre, the more I’ve come to find how different the well-known US and little-known UK stables were from one another. North American bands like The Sons of Champlin and Ambergris drew heavily from the Stax/Volt sound, whilst others crossed that with MOR schmaltz (the post-Kooper Blood, Sweat & Tears) and Beatlesque pop (Chicago.)

The UK variant was much more indebted to the post-Mayall school of blues rock, in confluence with the emerging strands of progressive rock. Even earlier, the “big bands” of the beat era like The Graham Bond Organization, The Artwoods and Zoot Money and the Big Roll Band (who lacked the pop appeal of their chart-bound contemporaries, yet featured superior musicians) employed sax/organ augmentation and, fittingly enough, happened to include many future brass rock players in their lineups, namely Keef Hartley, who would front his own namesake unit, and Jon Hiseman and Dick Heckstall-Smith, the mainstays of the original Colosseum.


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