The Canadian Brass is a curious hybrid. Sporting tuxes and white shoes, the group casually blends the serious with the frivolous, often at the expense of the music. Take, for example, the concert at Ambassador Auditorium on Wednesday--the first of four with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
Following a first half dominated by brilliantly played hum-along selections from Bach, the quintet --Frederic Mills and Ronald Romm, trumpets; David Ohanian, horn; Eugene Watts, trombone, and Charles Daellenbach, tuba--offered a world premiere by film composer Michel Colombier.
"We've been waiting a year for this," Daellenbach told the packed house. The wait would be a bit longer: First, the tuba player had to set a world record by bumbling his way through "Flight of the Bumble Bee" in 35 seconds.
Did it serve poor Colombier, waiting in the wings to conduct the premiere? Hardly. But it got a cheap laugh.
When "Promenade" was unveiled, it proved a mildly adventurous exploration of Bartokian effects (timpani outbursts, parallel fourths and perpetual-motion flights). At just under 20 minutes, the five-movement work never wore out its welcome, thanks also to exemplary playing.